A new, customizable dining plan will be available for upperclassmen next academic year.
Known as the Take Your Pick — or TYP — Plan, the new program allows students to create their own plan by selecting one of three options for meal swipes and one of three options of Dining Dollars.
Costs range from $2,140 per year for 26 meal swipes and $1,750 Dining Dollars to $3,075 per year for 50 meals swipes and $2,350 Dining Dollars. With this plan, like others that are currently offered, students can still add on meal swipes or Dining Dollars at any time.
“We have heard from students that they wanted more flexibility in their dining plans,” Pam Lampitt, director of Hospitality Services, which oversees Penn Dining, said in an email.
The University Dining Hall Advisory Board played a key role in formulating the new plan and working with students and administrators. Kosher Liaison to DHAB Hillel Neumark, a College junior, said the plan originated from a proposal last semester for a meal plan option that would allow students to create or customize the components of it.
“[They] presented enhanced-meal-plan-flexibility as a long-term goal that they believed would greatly benefit students and Penn Dining alike,” Neumark said.
UA representative and College sophomore Andrew Robertson said he initially had the idea for a “toggle” customizable plan which he presented to the board along with fellow UA representative and College junior Danielle Golub. Robertson and Golub then worked with Penn Dining to create the final TYP plan.
“[Penn Dining] was really receptive,” Robertson said, adding the process to finalize the plan was “surprisingly very easy.”
Lampitt said the timing of the proposal by the UA was good because Penn Dining is in the process of implementing a new dining plan management system that would allow for the increased flexibility of plans.
“As a result of the TYP plan, upperclassmen will now be able to choose from 15 possible dining plan options as opposed to this year’s eight options, which represents a dramatic upgrade in upperclassmen dining flexibility,” Neumark said in an email.
Robertson said he wanted more dining plan options to encourage students to frequent dining halls. “People eating in the same place develops more of a community,” he explained.
Overall, Robertson is pleased with the result of all the combined efforts.“My goal with this project was to make a more customizable dining plan, and I think that we did a good job of that,” he said.