Dining plans and Dugout requirements divide students

By Farah Bassyouni Sep 25, 2023

The beginning of each new school year brings change across campus, and IWU Dining takes center stage in student experience. 

Bertholf Commons is open from 7 a.m. to 7p.m., one of three meal plans offering “all-access” to the dining hall. While not all food stations are open in Bertholf Commons during the continuous operating hours, Tripper Phipps, Director of Dining Services hopes that students are able to have “more time for them to have a meal” with the All-Access meal plan.

Hannah Kocar ‘25 has the All-Access dining plan, and feels that it is suitable for her needs. “I think the all-access plan is great for students who need flexible hours where they can get a filling lunch with more variety,” she said. 

Other meal plans include 14 weekly meal swipes with 120 dollars of Munch Money and 10 weekly meal swipes with 400 dollars of Munch Money. These latter options reset weekly in order to prevent students from running out of meals as often in previous semesters. 

The Dugout – which houses Coffee Shop, Passport, SubConnection and the GrabNGo – now requires students to pre-order at the register before obtaining their meals and many students have expressed their dissatisfaction with the system. 

Quinn Gifford ‘25, has the 14 weekly meal plan that comes with 120 dollars in munch money. “I don’t particularly care for the new double-line system,” said Gifford. “Just because it takes a whole lot longer.”

Lily Sakalys ‘24 has the commuter meal plan, but frequently eats lunch in The Dugout. 

“I feel like having students ‘order’ first isn’t the most effective system when it comes to Dugout,” she said about effectively ordering twice with the new procedure. “This also makes it more difficult for students who just want to use the GrabNGo portion of Dugout.”

Connie Kim ‘25 has a commuter plan due to rising costs. “(IWU) raised the meal plan price, tuition price and didn’t raise my financial aid,” they said. “I wouldn’t mind the changes if I could afford to eat on campus more often.” 

“I know for a lot of the returning students were really confused coming back to campus with a new way of getting lunch,” said Kocar. “The new system in Dugout takes some getting used to, but I think it works pretty well.”

However, Phipps emphasized the necessity of these changes without response to why these changes were made. “To accommodate the meal exchanges assigned to each meal plan, a preorder is necessary,” he said.

IWU Dining plans to upgrade the card system over winter break to include more access for students to view their dining information. 

“After the upgrade to the card system a student will be able to check their balances on line or at the register,” Phipps said. 


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