This Independent Activities Period (IAP), MIT will be offering an optional “block meal plan” to students to fill the gap in service between the regular meal plan offered each semester.
Options include 20-, 30-, 40-, and 50-meal plans that cost $242, $342, $428, and $486, respectively, and the meals can be used in any combination of brunches and dinners. Brunch will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
There will be 52 meals served from Jan. 9 through Feb. 3, seven days a week, in Maseeh’s Howard Dining Hall, which will be the only dining hall open during IAP. Carry-out and sick meals (both of which have to be ordered in advance) will still be offered, though there will be no Kosher meals or to-go boxes, according to Campus Dining. Students can still swipe in only once per meal period.
Howard was chosen to be the only dining hall open to “narrow operations to keep cost down,” said Assistant Director for Campus Dining Michael Myers.
The times and options were chosen based on students’ IAP schedules, a survey by the Undergraduate Association, and the thought that a single brunch period offers both lunch and breakfast options, allowing “students to get a chance to get a good solid breakfast,” said Myers. He also said that providing “good service at the lowest possible price” is a priority for Campus Dining.
Some students find the plan convenient, and others see it as unnecessary and expensive.
Jennifer B. Plotkin ’15 and Samuel G. Cannon ’15, two Maseeh residents, said they were getting the plan because of the convenience of the dining hall. “I need food,” said Cannon, “and the meal plan is very convenient for me.”
Victor D. Pontis ’15, a Baker resident, said, “The amount of dollars per meal is extremely high. Right now on the meal plan … it costs me about $12 per meal — I could get really good food with $12 per meal.”
“Even if I get cereal for breakfast and treat myself to a nice dinner every night I would still be saving money,” added Angela Q. Zhang ’15.
Alan A. Diaz-Romero ’15, an East Campus freshman, had a simple reason for not choosing the meal plan: “It’s cheaper to buy your own groceries,” he said.
Myers said that it is hard to forecast participation due to the uncertainty in some students’ IAP schedules and that this IAP’s meal plan will be a “pilot program,” serving as a benchmark for future IAP meal plans.
Registration is open until Jan. 19 at http://dining.mit.edu/meal-plans/iapmealplan. After enrolling, only one cancellation or change of meal plan can be made until Jan. 6.