Students will not receive reimbursement for this semester's meal plan despite the change in the dining schedule. Photo by Victor Gee.
UMBC dining services released a statement saying that in the upcoming fall semester there will be no late night meal slot on Fridays and Saturdays.
“In the upcoming Fall 2018 semester, the late-night meal slot on Fridays and Saturdays will be discontinued,” said UMBC Dining Services on their official webpage. “Due to the rising costs of food, the cost of meal plans in the fall semester will not be adjusted to reflect the change in meal options.”
The change in dining policy has sparked an outrage in the UMBC student body. Many students are against the change and are looking to preserve the late-night meal slots.
“It’s like they want UMBC to be dead on the weekends,” said Michelle Bloom, a junior water sciences major. “If UMBC had a culture, late-night would be a core part of it.”
In response, UMBC administration has expressed interest in listening to student grievances. A public discussion on the meal slot changes will be held on April 1 in the Commons, Room 332.
“We are very interested to hear what students have to say about our changes and how we can improve student life at UMBC,” said Ronald Michaels, the Director of Dining Services at UMBC. Neither Michaels, nor any other representatives of UMBC administration, will be attending the discussion.
“At dining services, we have always been dedicated to serving the UMBC population. For example, weekend late nights at True Grits are happening every weekend as per popular request,” said Michaels. While True Grits will be serving hot food every Friday and Saturday night next semester, it will only take flex.
UMBC’s Dining Service was not the only group that supports the removal of the late night meal period. “I support the decision UMBC administration has made [on the removal of late-night meal slots],” said Rhonda Stevens, a dietician at UMBC. “I think it is important for students to catch up on sleep on the weekends rather than munch on snacks all night.”
Some students have disagreed with Stevens’ statement. They argue that late night meals are crucial to the health and safety of many UMBC students.
“I wake up at 12 p.m. every day and can’t fit breakfast or lunch into my schedule. No late-night meals on the weekends is a death sentence for me,” said Wesley Dutch, a freshman biology major.
Other students have voiced their concerns over the price of meal plans. Even with fewer meal slots, meal plan prices are increasing in the upcoming semester.
“The cost of the meal plans have always been a big problem for me. I graduated two years ago, yet I still get billed for the ultimate meal plan every semester,” said Duncan Garfields, class of 2016 UMBC alumnus.
As of now, it is unclear whether these changes will be beneficial for UMBC. But there is one more group excited about the upcoming changes: dining hall employees.
“I couldn’t be happier about these changes. God knows how miserable it is to deal with hordes of hungry students every night,” said Chartwells employee Charlene Collins.