When you just want to eat . . .

Michelle Bender

Knowing how much you have to spend, where you can spend it and when to eat is just the start of understanding KSU dining

Learning how to use a meal plan is just one more thing students on campus have to figure out in their freshman year.

With careful planning and budgeting, getting through the semester without a growling stomach can be easy.

“I highly suggest students budget appropriately to get the best value of their plan,” said Andrea Spandonis, director of University Dining Services.

According to the Dining Services Guide, the best way to budget a meal plan is to take the dollar amount and divide it by 15, the number of weeks in the semester.ÿ That amount divided by the number of days a student plans to eat on campus per week is the dollar amount available to spend per day.

“It looks like a big lump sum, but by the time you get down to the last weeks you realize you are running low,” said Chris Camp, senior justice studies major.

Brett Dellasantina, senior visual communications design major, advises freshmen not to buy food for their friends without meal plans because that eats up meal plan dollars quickly.

Spandonis said the Basic and Lite plans must be used up by the end of the spring semester or the remaining money will not be refunded.ÿRemaining money on those plans does carry over from fall to spring semester.

The Premier and Premier Plus plans roll dollars over after spring to the following fall.

There are 20 different places on campus where students can use their meal plans. John Goehler, assistant director of Dining Services, said each café serves something different every night. For example, the dinner at Eastway will be different from the dinner served at Prentice Hall.ÿ

“Students are afraid to use their meal plan and don’t know where the food places are,” Goehler said. “They are afraid to explore.”

He said the cafés offer much variety for the students.ÿ

Rosie’s Diner has a grab-and-go section to help students make healthy choices.ÿ The cafés also offer different ethnic foods.ÿ Indian food will be offered this year, and a sushi chef will be on campus making fresh sushi every day.ÿ The cafés also have special theme nights, such as Wing Night and Soul Food Night.

“We will work with dietary and health restrictions,” Spandonis said. “The biggest mistake students make is not coming to talk to us.ÿIf you can’t find something, say so.”

University Dining Services also accommodates commuters.ÿ

The Hub is restricted from meal plan use between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. so that commuters have a place to eat, Goehler said.ÿ

Commuter students can also purchase a meal plan; otherwise they can use FlashCash at any Dining Service location.

According to the FlashCard guide, FlashCash is money students can store on their FlashCards.ÿ It works much like a debit card.ÿ FlashCash can be used not just for meals, but at copy machines, printers and the University Bookstore. Also,ÿmany businesses off campus accept FlashCash for purchases.

Spandonis said there are a lot of pluses to staying on campus and purchasing a meal plan.ÿ

“We guarantee nutritional value and access to meals,” Spandonis said.ÿ “Grocery stores don’t cook or clean for you.”

On-campus locations to use FLASHcash

&bull All Dining Services locations

&bull All food court merchants

&bull Bursar transactions

&bull Campus Copy Connection

&bull Campus vending machines

&bull Copiers at the library and other locations

&bull DeWeese Health Center

&bull Eastway recreation

&bull Ice Arena

&bull Michael Schwartz Center food bar

&bull Jazzman’s library cart

&bull Parking Services

&bull Schwebel Garden Room

&bull Signum Copy Studio

&bull University Bookstore

OFF-campus locations to use FLASHcash

&bull Acme in Stow and Kent

&bull Burger King

&bull Campus Book and Supply

&bull China City in University Plaza

&bull Citgo Gas on Water Street

&bull CVS Pharmacy

&bull Domino’s Pizza

&bull DuBois Book Store

&bull East of Chicago Pizza

&bull Eldorado’s Pizza Pie

&bull Europe Gyro

&bull Flynn’s Tire & Auto Service

&bull Giant Eagle in Stow

&bull Guy’s Pizza

&bull Hungry Howie’s Pizza

&bull Jimmy John’s

&bull Kent State Golf Course

&bull Leander’s Barber Shop

&bull Mike’s Place

&bull Mr. Hero

&bull Papa John’s

&bull Pizza Hut

&bull Pizza Pan

&bull Pufferbelly Ltd.

&bull Pulp Juice and Smoothie Bar

&bull Rockne’s

&bull RSVP in Stow

&bull Save-A-Lot

&bull Sheetz

&bull Sorboro’s Italian Kitchen

&bull Stark Campus Bookstore

&bull Subway in Acme Plaza, Water Street and inside Wal-Mart

&bull Sunoco

&bull Susan’s Coffee & Tea

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Michelle Bender at [email protected].