As students move off-campus after UNC announced the de-densification of campus housing, questions about meal plan cancellation are surfacing.
Students are able to cancel their meal plans without charge until Aug. 30.
If a student misses this deadline, they can still cancel their meal plan by filling out a meal plan appeal form.
“We recognize what a stressful time this is for our community, especially students,” Scott Myers, director of auxiliary services, said in an email via UNC Media Relations. “Having easy access to fresh and sustainable food should not add to that stress and we’re proud to be able to meet that need for our students."
Myers said Carolina Dining Services is prepared to accommodate students and their dietary needs.
“We spent months preparing for the return of the fall semester and we have the precautions in place to create a safe dining environment," Myers said. "We will continue to fulfill our mission of providing healthy, quality meals for our community throughout the fall semester.”
International students, students without reliable internet, athletes and others who choose to remain on campus are eligible to keep their meal plans, as dining halls will remain open.
Before the start of the fall semester, CDS implemented safety precautions for the dining halls, including single occupancy tables, automatic hand sanitizer stations, regular sanitation of dining table and chair surfaces, daily screenings for CDS employees, plexiglass barriers for cashiers and six-foot distance separations for lines at food stations and entrances.
Ivah Tyson, a first-year student majoring in biology, said she believes the dining halls could have done more with the upkeep of safety measures and their precautions for students who entered these spaces.
“I feel like they could have implemented checking people’s temperatures upon arrival,” Tyson said. “Ensuring that someone is putting on hand sanitizer when they come in. As far as keeping distance, they did do a pretty good job of that at times. People would be clustered together just because they came together. I would often hear the workers telling people, ‘Hey, please spread out.’”
Damion Williams, a sophomore majoring in anthropology, said he used his meal plan when it was convenient, but this wasn’t as often because he had the ability to cook more.
“I would say I used it much less this year in comparison to last year,” Williams said. “That was due to me living in Rams. I find it a much better usage of time to cook or buy groceries instead of going to the dining hall. Socially, it’s more of a freshman activity, but I realized that I had my fill of Lenoir and Chase, but I still ate there when it was convenient for me.”
Williams said he thought CDS did all they could do during these times to keep students protected.
“I remember walking into Lenoir and Chase, and they wouldn’t let anyone in unless you had a meal plan,” Williams said. “They did have signs posted within the dining hall regarding where to walk. Even on Main Street, or the bottom of Lenoir, it was empty. They had tape borders used to make people stand in lines, so you would know exactly where to go. I feel like students did take it seriously when in the dining hall.”
Williams said he felt the atmosphere within both Lenoir and Chase was strikingly unique.
“We are used to going into Chase with your friends and it being crowded,” Williams said. “But this semester, both places were just deserted. I recall going to Lenoir and the place was just empty. Just going into a college dining hall and there being no one in there was insane.”
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