Staff Meal Communications
University Housing is proud to continue to provide our staff a considerable meal discount. Finding a way to keep the discount for University Housing employees while also covering food costs and ensuring that the university provides our students with affordable room and board rates has been a difficult balancing act.
There has been some misinformation over the last few months. This website will provide you with accurate materials, including: information about our goals to maintain a considerable discount, a communication timeline, and details about other ways University Housing is reducing and controlling costs for our residents.
The last time University Housing adjusted our staff meal discount was 1999. Since that time, there has been an increase in costs for food, labor, equipment, and utilities, which led to the evaluation and decision.
Goals for University Housing Leadership
Throughout this evaluation and decision, the University Housing leadership team has focused on three main goals.
- Find a balance between considerable staff discounts and offering affordable room and board rates for university students.
- Continue to offer a significant staff discount comparable to other Pac-12 institutions.
- Ensure that the staff discount will cover raw food costs.
Staff Communication Timeline
Since April 4, 2016, University Housing leadership has sent multiple e-mails and distributed flyers to staff with updates, calls for feedback, and official discount information. Each communication can be found by date:
- Read the December 6, 2016, announcement on flexibility with points
- Read the July 29, 2016, announcement on town hall meetings
- Read the May 2, 2016 invitation to town hall meetings
- Read the April 4, 2016, announcement on proposed meal plan changes
Food Costs Versus Operational Costs
University Housing operates a large dining budget to provide exceptional meals and options for all residents and other patrons visiting the venues.
Budget expenses for the operation are food costs (30 percent) as well as labor, utilities, and equipment costs (70 percent).
Keeping Costs Down for Student Room and Board Rates
University Housing is constantly looking for ways to keep costs down for students. Over the last five years a number of decisions have been made to reduce costs, find efficiencies, and offer services congruent with student needs. Here are just a few of the ways we have been helping keep housing affordable.
- Removed trays from dining venues, lowering food waste
- Identified more efficient use of utilities in buildings
- Purchased more energy-efficient equipment
- Reduced service center hours in relation to student usage and needs
- Contracted with major vendors for reduced costs
- Eliminated services not being used any longer by students (e.g., in-room phone landlines, expanded cable)
- Designed new residence hall to operate with lower costs
- Performed cost analysis to determine most affordable long-term plan for Bean Hall resulting in renovation vs new build