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McCormick to Offer Meal Plan Next Fall

By JuliÁn Villarreal

STAFF REPORTER

McCormick Hall will offer in-house dining next fall. The dining facility will most likely operate under a plan similar to the one that is currently implemented at Baker, Simmons, and Next House Dining, said Richard D. Berlin III, director of campus dining.

Berlin said that he expects that McCormick freshmen will be required to participate in the dining plan.

This plan requires that residents pay a $200 dining fee per semester, which entitles them to a 50 percent discount on all of their dining purchases. Meals cost approximately $7.00, but with the subsidy, residents would pay $3.50.

The McCormick Hall government is currently holding discussions with the campus dining office about renovating its former dining hall to create a new one, Berlin said. McCormick had a dining hall 10 years ago, but it was closed down because of monetary losses. McCormick residents have expressed a commitment to having a dining facility, Berlin said.

Details of dining to be determined

“We haven’t hammered out all the details, but it’s pretty much agreed upon,” that a dining facility will exist, said Priyanka M. Sundareshan ’06, McCormick government dining co-chair. Sundareshan said that the dining committee would be meeting over the next few weeks to discuss details such as menu variety and the layout of the facility.

She said that the McCormick Hall government felt that a dining facility would be beneficial to incoming freshmen and help to build community within McCormick.

Sundareshan also said that it is still undecided whether the dining plan will be mandatory for residents. She said that they had not yet determined whether the plan next year would be required for all McCormick residents, required just for freshmen, or not required at all.

Currently, the specific requirements of the dining plan are different for each residence hall. In Simmons, for example, the dining fee is required for all residents, whereas in Baker and Next House the requirement only applies to the class of 2007.

Berlin said that all freshmen who will move into Baker and Next House next year and beyond will be required to pay the fee, thus gradually integrating the dining plan into those dormitories. Current students who move to Simmons, Baker, and Next House next year will also be required to pay the fee.

Berlin said that the discount meal plan that is currently in effect at Simmons, Baker, and Next is “open to all MIT students.”

Some students dislike dining plan

Some residents do not support the implementation of a dining plan. “There is always some amount of dissension,” Berlin said.

“For me, it’s just another $200 to live in Simmons,” said Devan E. Kestel ’07.

Lincoln W. Pasquina ’07 agreed. He said that he usually dines at his fraternity and rarely dines at Baker.

At McCormick, Sundareshan said that some residents have “mixed feelings” about the nature of the dining plan.

Berlin said that current dining policy is focused on providing students with many campus dining options. He said that in past years the dining office has attempted to “strike a balance between student eating in dining halls, cooking for themselves, and eating off campus.”

He said that the campus dining office has worked with the Office of Student Life to clarify the options available to incoming freshman. Berlin said that many students who decide to live in dormitories without dining plans such as Burton-Conner “are making a conscious decision to cook most of the meals for themselves,” whereas Simmons residents are aware of the dining fee requirement and making the choice to eat in the dining hall.