Campus dining brings several changes

(Archive Photo) Campus Dining Services has made a few changes in their policies, which will begin this fall.

(Archive Photo)
Campus Dining Services has made a few changes in their policies, which will begin this fall.

Starting this fall, Illinois State University students will notice a few big changes from Campus Dining Services.

First of all, students residing on off-campus properties are no longer eligible for meal plans in the campus dining centers.

Until recently, all ISU students were allowed to apply for a meal plan, whether they lived in the dormitories or had their own place off campus.

Now, only students living in Watterson, Hewitt, Manchester or Tri-Towers residence halls are guaranteed  meal plans, according to the  ISU Campus Dining Services website.

A limited amount of plans are available for off-campus and Cardinal Court residents, and are obtained at a first-come, first-serve basis. For fall semester, however, Campus Dining has reached its maximum capacity and can no longer offer these students the opportunity to eat in the dining halls.

The reason for this change is because of the unusually large incoming freshman class.

If a student without a meal plan wishes to eat at one of the residence halls’ dining centers, they may pay the door rates.

The rates are $6.15 for breakfast, $8.75 for lunch and $10.25 for dinner. Guest meals may also be purchased using Flex Dollars, Redbird Dollars or cash/credit.

Many off-campus and Cardinal Court residences were not happy to hear this sudden change, as many of them rely on the dining centers throughout the day.

“I have my internship and classes on campus and when I have breaks I usually grab lunch,” Leann Risten, senior psychology major, said. “It’s  so inconvenient now because I’m going to have to go all the way back to my apartment or pack lunches which I don’t have time for.”

Another change coming to Campus Dining Services will be the recent decision to make the campus cash-free.

This restricts students to using only Flex Dollars, Redbird Dollars and credit/debit cards at the dining centers and most of the campus restaurants, except for the Bone Student Center and Subways.

According to the FAQ provided by Campus Dining Services, they believe that making campus cash-free will “enhance the safety and security” throughout campus.

“Additionally, there is quite a bit of time and labor involved in managing large amounts of cash. Going cash-free allows us to be more efficient and focus more time on serving our customers,” Campus Dining Services stated online.

If a student only has cash, they may load their Redbird card, using one of the Cash-to-Card machines located on campus. There are several of these machines throughout the Bone, in the Watterson Lobby, on various floors of Milner Library and in the College of Business computer lab.

The cash-free campus will go into effect Wednesday Aug. 13.

Any questions or concerns can be answered online at or call (309) 438-8351.

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