What kind of dining do students really want?
If the UA bill successfully halts the new dining plan, UA senators will use surveys to find what students want specifically. For example, if students want breakfast, the UA will examine if either a large, hot breakfast or a quick breakfast offering will be preferred by students, Wang said.
This would by no means be the first survey distributed to students to gauge interest in dining. The UA distributed a survey to all undergrads last week, which found that 92 percent of those familiar with specific details of the new plan do not prefer it over the current House Dining Membership.
Last semester, the HDAG asked students to write their opinions on dining in an online Idea Bank; the UA also conducted its Breakfast Survey Report, which concluded that residents are “more likely to purchase an in-house breakfast if it is a hot meal.” About 60% of respondents in that survey said they would not support an increase in the House Dining Membership fee (currently at $300 per semester) to support a breakfast service.
In fall 2007, the Blue Ribbon Dining Committee (BRDC) was formed to evaluate and identify any needed changes within the Campus Dining program. Its spring 2008 survey found that about half of undergraduates living in dining hall dorms, Burton-Conner, and Senior House, “think MIT should offer an AYCE dining option”. Between 65 and 69 percent of MacGregor, New House, and Bexley residents also supported AYCE offerings, according to the BRDC.
In fall 2009, when the BRDC issued its final report, the UA’s Dining Proposal Committee recommended that residential dining halls not open for breakfast since they believed a “grab-and-go breakfast program” would be preferred. The UA committee also recommended replacing House Dining Membership with a declining balance program and establishing a centralized dining hall. In response to the BRDC, the UA found “only seven percent [of undergraduates] would like to eat all their meals at an AYCE facility, and only 40 percent would like to eat AYCE at all.”