Dorms and meal plans offer variety to students

Dorms and meal plans offer variety to students

by Camille Lozano

San Diego State offers a wide variety of residence halls, apartments and meal options to meet students’ needs.

Located on the east and west sides of campus, Cuicacalli Suite, University Towers in addition to Maya, Olmeca, Tenochca, Zura and Chapultepec Halls are SDSU’s living communities.

There are also two apartment complexes owned and managed by the university that are located within walking distance of campus: Piedra Del Sol and Villa Alvarado.

This fall, residence halls will be occupied by first-time freshmen while the apartment housing will be primarily upper-division students. All buildings and floors are coed while the rooms and bathrooms are single-gender.

According to the SDSU Housing website, each housing option offers the choice between single, double or triple occupancy. Triple occupancy rooms are the most recommended as they offer the “best value and offer the greatest opportunity to develop a large social network.”

Public administration senior Juan Martinez explained his residence hall experience when he lived at the university for two years.

[quote]I enjoyed my freshman year living there because you get to meet a lot of people.[/quote]

“I lived in the dorms two years in a row. The first year I lived in Zura, which was awesome. I enjoyed my freshman year living there because you get to meet a lot of people…(who) are going through the same experience, who are in the same boat you are in,” Martinez said.

Martinez lived in University Towers his second year and enjoyed the continued experience of connecting with students. He recommends living on campus freshman year, as it “is definitely something to experience during your college years.”

While Martinez recommends living on campus, management information systems senior Patrick Ford, a resident of Aztec Corner, discussed off-campus living as a great alternative.

“I like it way better, it’s a little bit harder to meet people, but it’s pretty cool having my own place,” Ford said.

In order to accommodate the newcomers and returning students, construction has been taking place around campus to provide convenience and accessibility.

Office of Housing Administration Director, Eric Hansen explained the recent renovations made in preparation for incoming on-campus housing students this fall.

“We have renovated 10 units in Villa Alvarado that will be ready for our student residents next week. University Towers also has had much of the first floor renovated including the new University Towers Kitchen, or UTK, managed by (SDSU) Dining (Services).”

Meal plans are included with every residence hall payment plan and range from $9,897 to $14,337 based on room occupancy choices and meal plan preference, except in Villa Alvarado where students aren’t required to have a meal plan.

According to the SDSU Dining Services site, with the 10 Meal Plan, there are two meals provided daily with a one-time purchase at one location for $8 (available from 6 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.) and $10.20 (available from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.). There is no weekend food allowance provided.

With the Flex 5 Plan, there is a $19.75 declining balance per weekday. This meal plan permits flexibility to spend the allowance all at once or throughout the day however does not include a weekend food allowance.

The Flex 7 Plan includes an $18.20 declining balance per weekday and a $12.50 declining balance food allowance during the weekend.

“I think (the meal plan) was pretty good, especially if you don’t have a place to cook, there’s food on campus. I had the Flex 7 Plan and it wasn’t too much, it was just enough for me,” Martinez said.

The 10 Meal Plan, Flex 5 and Flex 7 Plans operate as “Use It Or Lose It” plans meaning leftover funds aren’t transferred to the next day, and aren’t refundable.

The last meal plan, the Meals Plus Plan, allows the flexibility of 80 meals that can be redeemed at any time each semester at The Dining Room at Cuicacalli Suites as well as a $1,200 declining balance each semester that is accepted at all locations on campus. Remaining balances and meals can be used the following spring semester but are not redeemable in the fall.

[quote]It was pretty convenient because I didn’t have to worry about having cash.[/quote]

“I didn’t like having to use the money at specific times because if you didn’t use the money it would disappear, but otherwise it was pretty convenient because I didn’t have to worry about having cash,” Ford said.

In addition to the established dining halls, the new UTK will be opening this month as a welcome addition to dining options. It will be available to all students and the public.

“This facility is going to be amazing. It is a very sustainably designed building. There are no walls in the kitchen so the customer sees from the exhibition station right in front of them all the way back to the kitchen,” Director of Dining Services Paul Melchior said.

All the food provided will be made from scratch to support the dining facility’s healthy eating program “Eat Well, Live Well.”

SDSU’s residence halls, apartments, dining options and recent renovations offer a colorful variety of convenience for students this fall semester.