Student senate hears unlimited meal plan proposal

Samuel Nusbaum, Contributing Writer

Samuel Nusbaum | The Daily Eastern News
Dennis Malak, director of operations at the Doudna Fine Arts Center, and Dan Crews, interim director of programming, publicity and promotions at Doudna, gave an update about upcoming shows and new promotions to the Student Senate at its meeting Wednesday night.

Student senate heard a report about suggestions from the Revenue Bond Committee and learned the guidelines on how to become speaker of the senate during their meeting Wednesday night.

During their meeting in the Charleston Mattoon Room in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, senator Ean Watson discussed the ideas the committee came up with on how to use the school’s bond money.

The committee is composed of three representatives of the Resident Hall Association, three representatives of Student Senate and two representatives from the Office of Housing and Dining.

In their yearly meeting, the committee came up with a proposed rate increase for room and board, an unlimited meal plan and having a microwave and refrigerator installed in every dorm room.

The proposed rate increase will be 1.5 percent and would be put in place during the Fall 2018 semester.

“We have about two thousand and eighty people living on campus which is down from last year by 400 people,” Watson said.

The increase is to cover the dropping enrollment numbers so the dorms and their services can still operate effectively.

The unlimited meal plan will be an added option for students. The proposed meal plan will be the cheapest of its kind when it is compared to unlimited meal plans at universities like Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

The proposed meal plan will cost $2,100 and still have the standard two-hour limit between swipes and will have six bonus swipes.

The microwave and refrigerator idea, as well as the unlimited meal plan came about to make Eastern more marketable to potential students Watson said. The microwave and refrigerator will be maintained by the company.

“The freshman coming in will not know that it will take a little bit of space, they will not see it as a problem,” Watson said.

The committee does not have a price range with this proposal as they would go to different companies to see what they would charge and take the lowest price of all the potential bids Watson said.

He said the school would test pilot the program to see how it goes, with the potential dorm they would use being Pemberton Hall.

All three proposals will go before the Board of Trustees during its meeting in January.

Student Body President Luke Young discussed how to become Speaker of the Senate as the current Speaker William Outzen finishes his term. Young said the terms are a semester in length and all senators planning to run must talk to Young before Tuesday Nov. 28.

Young said speaker nominations will be held the next day, Wednesday Nov. 29.

Candidates can have two other people come before the senate to state why they believe the candidate makes a fit as a nominee for the position. These speeches must be kept to two minutes in length, if they go over this time they will be cut off by Young.

Young said if there are more than two candidates there will be a primary held to narrow the field down.

He said the official vote will be on Wednesday, December 6 which allows the candidates to have a week to campaign.

Samuel Nusbaum can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]