The Highlands Board of Regents on Monday improved an increase in the cost of student meal plans, but officials said the company providing the meals promises to improve its service.
Last month, students complained they couldn’t get a full meal at the Cantina with the meal plan and that the Cantina wasn’t open enough hours. And they had other objections to the meal service.
After the complaints surfaced, officials from ABL Management Inc., the food service contractor, met with students.
According to a memo from Judy Cordova, vice president for student affairs, ABL has agreed to a number of changes:
• Students can get full meals at the Cantina without having to pay extra.
• The Cantina is now open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Before, it was open only from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Menus at the Cantina and the coffee shop have been expanded.
• A student satisfaction survey was conducted, with plans for regular surveys.
• Students will be able to get a 19-meal plan, an increase from the 15-meal version.
• Students will get varied meal plans. Under the system, they can pay for certain numbers of meals and can use the meals at the rate they choose.
• The company will provide “appropriate training” for its on-site manager so as to ensure more stability with the food service.
Jesse Lopez, president of the graduate students, said it’s nice to know that students can count on the school’s administration to take care of problems when they express their concerns.
“Students are using the Cantina a lot more. As a result, the student center is a better place,” he said.
Undergraduate student President Gregory Rael agreed.
Javier Gonzales, chairman of the regents, praised Lopez and other leaders for showing the “proper leadership.”
“You served the student body well,” he said. “Thank you, Judy Cordova, for being a good advocate for students.”
The cost of the meals plans will increase by 4.3 percent.