Guest meal swipes, meal equivalency changes to come in fall semester

Meal plan holders will have higher value, but limited meal equivalencies and some guest swipes this year.

Meal plan holders will see changes to equivalencies and the guest swipe policy this fall. | FILE / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Students will be allowed to use their meal plan swipes for guests up to three to five times per semester, depending on their meal plan, and meal equivalencies will be raised from $9.75 to $10.50 starting this fall, Temple Student Government told The Temple News Wednesday.

Aramark, Temple’s food catering company, reinforced their policy that meal swipes were only for the holder in February, to the disappointment of many students who wanted to use their swipes on friends and family. Aramark reported an increase of students with unlimited meal plans allowing multiple people into the dining hall at the time.

“The goal was to find a more efficient way to donate [meal swipes] to students,” said Chelsea Lubbe, a junior journalism major and TSG’s director of health and wellbeing. “We knew there was a need for it, and we knew it was important for people to get what they’re paying for and to avoid leftover [meal swipes.]”

However, alongside the value increase of the meal equivalency, students will no longer be able to use more than two meal equivalencies at a time. 

“I’m not crazy about [the meal swipe limit] policy,” Lubbe said. “I know it’s going to ruffle some feathers but it was a give and take, because they had given us the [higher] meal equivalencies and that was a big deal to us. It’s just kind of a sticky situation.”

Temple’s chapter of Swipe Out Hunger, a national nonprofit dedicated to addressing student hunger, and members of the previous TSG administration played a role in returning the guest swipes, Lubbe said.

“I’m really pleased with the outcome,” said Jonathan Reiter, vice president of business affairs and administration. “We worked really closely with the previous student government administration to accomplish this, as one of their goals. We as a university also recognize the importance of doing it. The student government showed us we are one of the only universities who don’t have a guest meal plan policy so we’re happy to come to an agreement with Aramark.”

The unlimited meal plan will have five guest swipes, with smaller plans holding three.

The student government plans to continue advocating for Aramark to increase the limited number of guest swipes, Lubbe said.

Chelsea Lubbe has previously freelanced for The Temple News. She did not contribute to the writing, reporting or editing of this story.

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