Meal plans come to an abrupt end for many

An empty dining hall at FAMU. Photo courtesy Ellis, Rickets, and Associates

Ten days ago, on March 30, FAMU sent out a school-wide update about COVID-19 in terms of how it pertains to housing and meal-plans on campus.

Effective Monday, April 6, all student meal plans were to be deactivated at noon unless a student has been approved to stay for the remainder of the semester due to extenuating circumstances, per FAMU INFO.

There has been plenty of controversy on the topic, from off-campus students and on-campus residents.

Being that I have so many upperclassmen friends, making meal plans inaccessible to those who do not stay on campus is unfair. Students who dont stay on campus have to pay for utilities, rent, gas, and having pre-paid meals can benefit them in this pandemic,” freshman Shamaya Chinn said.

Although the majority of students dont stay in residence halls, they still partake in campus amenities like top and bottom café, which in most cases requires meal swipes, and not out of pocket money.

Nonetheless, some students agree with the actions the university is taking.

Resident Assistant, Andrew Chiwara said, In my opinion the meal plans being cut off for students who are using them is a pretty good idea. The refunded money can help students pay off their balances and even keep money in their pockets during this time.”

Dining services is set to end all meal plan holder memberships and issue a credit to iRattler accounts no later than April 20. It is basing the criteria for the credit on three things. The type of meal plan, the prorated period from Monday, March  23, until the end of the semester on Saturday, May 2.

I feel like FAMU tried to do everything they could to keep students housed and fed, but at the end of the day COVID-19 is serious and ultimately in the end them issuing refunds has been helping students clear their balances with the university,” Asia Carter,a freshman, said.

The Office of Financial Aid has encouraged students to set up the electronic direct deposit on their accounts. If they do not wish to be credited that way, paper checks are still and option.

Considering this controversy, dining services has extended sincere regrets for the inconvenience. It has urged all students with questions or concerns to reach out to the Rattler cards office via