FAU Student Government petitions for optional meal plans

Lexi+Rosario%2C+Boca+House+representative

Char Pratt

Lexi Rosario, Boca House representative

Dylan Bouscher

Lexi Rosario, Boca House representative

In 2006 FAU signed a 15-year contract with Chartwells that forced students to buy meal plans if they live on campus.

Now, Student Government is asking residents to sign a petition that would make buying meal plans optional, and it could be a waste of time — but that’s not stopping them.

Residents being forced to buy meal plans was a complaint brought up at a focus group last October. At that focus group, Boca House of Representatives Rep. Reginald Horace told the UP that SG started a petition to present to Chartwells.

With no official deadline set for signing the petition, or showing it to Chartwells, BHOR Rep. Lexi Rosario said “I want it to be soon, I’m hoping for mid-semester.”

Rep. Rosario started the petition herself in late October, and now has Horace and BHOR Rep. James Lavia collecting signatures as well.

“We are aiming for 1,500 signatures from students living in IRT, HPT, GPT and Algonquin,” said Rosario. Students living in those dorms have to buy meal plans.

Since the contract was signed before the Innovation Village Apartments were built, residents in those buildings are not required to buy meal plans.

The UP attempted to contact Chartwells, but they couldn’t be reached for comment.

Boca House Speaker Boris Bastidas said, “I’ve never seen the contract,” despite SG’s effort to change it.

So far, the petition has 400 signatures, according to Rosario. When the petition was started in October, students could sign it online. In mid-November the petition was taken offline, and printed after only 20 signatures were collected in the first week.

Junior communications major, Joseph Jackson, prefers having to buy a meal plan. “I really don’t feel forced. I don’t have a car, so how am I going to eat? I personally don’t mind it.”

On the chances that the petition could change mandatory meal plans, Rosario said “It may not be a priority of (Chartwells), but if enough students come together we can put it on their list.”

Freshman biology major, Brooke Badger, felt upset about meal plans being required “I think it should be optional. It’s bullshit that I have to buy one. I didn’t want to buy one this semester after I got assigned to GPT.”