Policies and Frequently Asked Questions

The following frequently asked questions were generated by students and parents as they navigated the meal selection process, changes to plans, additions to points, etc. Having a clear understanding of these FAQ's and policies will help you have a better dining experience on campus.

  • Meal Plan Policy and meal plans

    All undergraduate students at Wesleyan are required to participate in the University Meal Plan for all four years. Your WesCard provides access to all dining facilities on campus including those at the Usdan University Center and Summerfields and all a-la-carte facilities. 

    The Freshman default meal plan is the Premier plan which includes all meals offered as well as $260.00 points per semester. Freshman may not select a different meal plan. 

    The Sophomore default meal plan is the "250" plan which includes 2 meal swipes per day and $520 in points per semester. Sophomores may choose to select the Premier plan instead of the 250 plan if they so choose.

    Juniors and Seniors will default to the all points plan ($2260.00 per semester, plus twenty swipes), however they may select the Premier or 250 plan instead.  All plan costs are built into your Dining and Housing Fees.

    The meal plans are developed so that they will cover meals for the entire posted time period per semester.  Students are responsible for making sure they budget their own meal plan accordingly.

    Meal plans are developed based on the costs for the contracted University food service provider, Bon Appetit.  WesWings, Red & Black Cafe, Story & Soil, Star & Crescent and Espwesso are independent contractors who DO NOT follow the same price points. Students should utilize their meal plan points at these locations sparingly.

    If you believe you have a medical condition or other reason (living at permament home address, married) that would warrant a waiver from the meal plan you would need to email dining@wesleyan.edu and request a waiver.  Your request will be reviewed by the University Director of Auxiliary Services. Off campus housing does not guarantee a meal plan waiver.

  • When is dining available on campus?

    The Fall meal plan begins one week prior to New Student Orientation and runs through December 30th.  During Fall break (October), only Usdan Marketplace is open and the service is limited to brunch and dinner.  During the week leading up to Thanksgiving, services become more and more limited, ending with Usdan Markeplace being the only location open for brunch and dinner.  There is no dining service available on campus on Thanksgiving Day or the day after in order to allow the Bon Appetit team time with their families.

    Your Fall meal plan runs through December 30th (closed 12/24-25) so if you need to remain on campus (or an athlete who needs to come back early) your Fall meal plan will still be running. Students who know they will be in that situation must make sure they budget their meal plan accordingly so that they have points or swipes remaining for that period. Meal plans are developed to cover the entire posted periods.

     

    The spring semester meal plan begins on January 2 and runs through brunch on the day dorms close in May. Usdan Marketplace brunch/dinner service is provided until spring semester classes begin after which the full dining service begins again. Usdan Marketplace remains open during spring break in the brunch/dinner pattern.  WesShop may remain open during spring break dependent on staffing.

    Senior Week meal service is not guaranteed and is determined by late April of the spring semester.

    Students should check the Dining page/hours for the most up to date schedules.  Break periods are typically posted two weeks prior to the break.

  • Ok, so what's a meal swipe versus points?

    Points are just dollars.  So you would use your points for all dining and groceries on campus when you are a Junior/Senior.  The points plan is based off of a budget of approx. $20 for food per day.  Many students find it is easier to get either the Premier of 250 plan as groceries for $19 per day is challenging. The Premier Plan is the best value of all the meal plans as it insures students have access to every meal served in a given week plus provides some points for cafe shopping.

    Freshman and Sophomore plans include points and meal swipes.  The points on those plans should be used to supplement the regular dining.  The Premier (Freshman default plan) includes one meal swipe for every meal served throughout the entire semester so there is no possibility that a Freshman or anyone else on the Premier plan, would not have access to food. The Sophomore Plan includes 250 meal swipes, which averages 15 meals per week, or two per day.  If electing that plan, students should consider using meal swipes for lunch and dinner and using points for breakfast since that is generally the least expensive meal of the day.

  • How do I budget my points?

    According to the USDA, "an individual between the ages of 19 – 50 will spend $166 – $187 per month on groceries." 

    Because you won't be spending your points at a large grocery chain that can offer large discounts due to volume, our weekly rate is significantly higher than the USDA. The Jr/Sr. plan assumes a budget of $132.00 per week for food costs.  This budget assumes that the majority of your points are spent at a Bon Appetit (campus dining contractor) venue.  

    You should develop a weekly budget so that you are certain you will have points that last throughout the full semester.  IF oyu need help developing a budget, please visit the WesCard page where there is a budget already developed for you to use.

  • So what's the biggest mistake people make with dining plans?

    The biggest mistake people make is spending too many points per week at non Bon Appetit establishments.  Remember, the plans are based on Bon Appetit pricing: $6.50 breakfast, $9.50 for lunch/brunch and $11 for dinner.  If you visit a non Bon Appetit venue that takes our points (and there are several) you should do so only occasionally as their price point is much higher.  The average cost of a meal at a non BA location can be $18 or more (on average) and can run much higher depending on what you choose from their menu.  That means for one meal you might be spending twice what the plan is budgeted for in a single meal.  That isn't sustainable for a semester. 

    Non Bon Appetit establishments: WesWings, Red & Black Cafe, Story & Soil, Espwesson, Star & Crescent

    For those on the all points plan, the point budget is based on a spending $19 per day (basically, lunch and dinner at Marketplace).

    Since the dining programs have been developed to make sure all students have enough swipes or points to be covered for a full semester utilizing Bon Appetit dining, there are no emergency funds available if you use up your points prior to the end of the semester.

  • Where can meals be used and where can points be used?
    You may use meal swipes at Usdan Marketplace and Summerfields.  Meal swipes may also be used at Pi Cafe, Usdan Cafe and WesShop during designated meal equivalency peiods.  Points can be used at any dining location as well as Story & Soil (bookstore cafe), Red and Black Cafe, WesWings and The Cardinal Cafe (Freeman Athletics).  Please budget carefully.  The point values within the meal plan are based on a budget using Bon Appetit pricing with only occasional use at the non Bon Appetit venues (Story & Soil, Red and Black, WesWings).
  • What are Guest Meals?

    As part of the Premier and 250 plans, each student has eight guest meals built into their plan. This allows students to have multiple meal swipes in a given meal period, up to eight times, in the event they have guests. This is automatically built into the plan but if you choose not to use them as guest meals you may use them as a regular meals over the course of the semester. When not using guest meals, students may only swipe their card once within a given meal period. Meal periods are breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night (or brunch on weekends in place of beakfast and lunch).

  • What are my dining options over winter and summer breaks?

    All meal plans will run from the date you are authorized to move back on campus* through December 30th.  Fall break is included in your plan.  There is no dining on campus on Thanksgiving Day/Day after, December 24-25 and December 31.

    Spring Semester dining begins on January 3rd and will run through brunch on residential move out day in May.  Spring break is included in your meal plan. Dining IS NOT available during Senior week so that Bon Appetit can prepare for Commencement.

    During break periods, there are limited locations open.

    Summer meal plans are available for purchase or aid grant depending on eligibility. Purchasing options are typically posted in April.

    *early arrivals for leadership positions may be covered by your campus employer depending on your return date.

  • What is the best value for point usage?

    Meals should always be used first since points roll from Fall to Spring semester and meals do not.  Since the Premier plan includes one swipe for every meal we are open there is no reason to use points in any of the dining locations as long as you are on that plan.   The Premier Plan is the best value of all the meal plans as it insures students have access to every meal served in a given week plus provides some points for cafe shopping.

    Costs for meals using points are: Breakfast $6.50, Lunch $9.50, Dinner $11, Brunch $9.50

  • Can I eat multiple times in a meal period in Marketplace?
    You may only swipe once per meal period.  If you leave and come back you would need to use points or a guest meal to eat a second time.
  • Can I swipe multiple times in a meal period?
    You may only swipe once per meal period unless you are using a guest meal. Guest meals can be used in conjunction with a regular meal swipe or by itself.
  • Do I lose meals if I don’t use them in a week?

    The Premier plan includes all meals for a given semester so you cannot "lose" meals as you are covered from the day you move on campus through the end of the designated semester meal swipe period (12/30, approx. 5/18).

    The 250 meal plan includes meal swipes that equal two swipes per day (different meal periods) and actually includes 290 swipes per semester.  If they are not used up by the end of the semester they do not role from Fall to Spring or Spring to Summer semester.  Meal swipes not used by the end of the semester are forfeited.

  • My class year is wrong, can I change plans?

    Students have access to the different meal plan options based on their class year. Class year is determined by the registrars office and is based on the number of earned credits you have. If you believe you are listed in the wrong class you need to work with your Class Dean to have your year designation officially changed. Unless your designation is changed within the Registrars system we cannot change your meal plan access to a different class years plan.  If for some reason you have a mid year class year switch you are responsible for checking and making sure you have the correct meal plan. If you believe you have the wrong meal plan you must contact the Director of Auxiliary Services at dining@wesleyan.edu no later than the second friday of the given semester. Requests for change will not be considered after that point.

     

  • I'm living in housing that is traditionally only for a different class year than mine; can I change my meal plan to match?
    Not unless your class year is changed.  Housing location is not tied to the dining plan you have access to.  Dining plans are determined by class year, which depends on the number of credits you have (not necessarily the number of semesters you have been enrolled).  For example, a Senior could elect to live in a traditional Freshman dorm, but still have access to the Jr/Sr meal plan.  Similarly, a Sophomore could live in traditional Jr/Sr housing but would only have access to the Freshman or Sophomore meal plans.
  • If I have a reason to change my plan and it is approved when can I make the change?

    If you meet the criteria due to a medical issue to change plans, the administrative team will work with you to select the most appropriate plan for your nutrition needs. Changes due to a medical condition can be made at any point up until the second to the last week of classes in a given semester.

    Changes that are made for any other reason (religious, move from campus, marriage, change in class year status) will only be made up until the advertised change date (usually within two weeks of the beginning of the semester). Extenuating circumstances may be considered for changes up until the semester mid point but no changes will be made after semester mid point unless it is a new documented medical issue.

     

  • What happens when you run out of points? What happens at the end of Spring semester?

    Students can go into their meal plan through their WesPortal and add points or Middletown cash at any time*. Any remaining points and/or meals left after the final meal, Spring Semester are forfeit. Points and meals cannot be used in the summer session as a separate summer meal plan may be available.

     *please follow dates on WesCard page for meal plan point addition deadlines

  • How do I add points to my plan?
    You can add additional on-campus meal plan points in $25 increments which will be billed to your student account. Simply go to your student WesPortal, sign-in, click on the Meal Plan Points link, and follow the directions to add your points.  Unused additional on-campus meal plan points at the end of fall semester will roll over for spring semester usage. The last day to use all additional on-campus meal plan points is 5/18/24(brunch). Additional on-campus meal plan points do not roll over from year to year, only Middletown Cash does. You may also add Middletown Cash on the My Accounts page above, which can be used both on campus as well as off campus at participating downtown merchants.
  • How can I check my declining balance points balance?
    You can find out your balance from the cashier each time you make a purchase, or even if you do not make a purchase, you can still ask the cashier to check your card to find out your balance. You can also go to the My Accounts page in your WesPortal to view your balance and transaction history.
  • What are the hours for dining on campus?

    The hours for dining on campus depend on the particular venue and if it is a break period or not.  For locations not managed by Bon Appetit, please see their individual websites. For specific Bon Appetit hours please visit the hours of operation link from the main dining page.

  • Are the dining facilities opened during breaks?

    Fall (October) and Spring (March) breaks are included within the semester meal plans. Otherwise, all dining facilities are closed during University Holidays: Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving, December 24/25, December 31/January 1, Memorial Day. Dining is also closed Thursday through Sunday of Senior Week to allow Bon Appetit to prepare for Commencment.

    All dining plans run from the day you are authorized to move onto to campus through the the day dorms close in the Fall. For Spring semester they will run from January 2nd through the brunch on move out day in May.

    Summer dining is available for aid eligible students who have been granted summer housing and/or for those living on campus who wish to purchase a summer meal plan.

     

     

  • What is "Late Night Dining"
    Late night dining is a fourth meal period offered daily from 9:30pm-1am. Meal swipes, points or credit may be used. Late Night is held in Summerfields.  Late Night Dining may be closed one or two nights prior to a break and for one or two nights after a break. You should check the dining hours for specifics.
  • Is there a Kosher Program on campus?
    Wesleyan runs a kosher dining station in Marketplace on the second floor of the Usdan University Center. The Shalom Salaam Kosher Eatery at Usdan University Center serves all you can eat kosher food. Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week, while school is in session. This eatery is under the rabbinic supervision of Rabbi David Teva.
  • Are there Vegan dining options?
    Wesleyan University was named the 2009 and 2013 Most Vegetarian-Friendly College in the United States by Peta2. According to the Peta2 website, “the acclaimed liberal arts college, which has a history of social justice activism, lives up to the hype when it comes to vegan options. Some of the creative choices offered include veggie chicken red curry with steamed broccolini and organic jasmine rice, three-mushroom vegan ragu with penne pasta, and barbecue seitan. Bon Appetit employs a talented chef who specializes in this delicious vegan fare, open to all who choose to enjoy it!
  • Is there a Halal program on campus?

    Students wishing to purchase Halal proteins may do so through bulk orders available at WesShop*; additionally WesShop sells Halal to go meals which are very popular. In addition, the Usdan Marketplace Classics station is always Halal friendly during the dinner meal period (protein is Halal).

    *At this time Halal bulk proteins are not available thorugh WesShop due to challenges sourcing appropriately processed meats.

  • How are food allergies managed?

    Bon Appetit is able to assist students with just about any allergy or medical condition that impacts diet and nutritional choices. Many ingredients are listed and we label as much as possible, although not all items can be labeled due to potential liabilities.  Managers are always available at all dining locations whenever meals are being served so students and visitors always have resources available to them if they need to confirm certain ingredients or potential allergens. For more specific information link to the Allergies and Bon Appetit page the main dining website. The best location for managing allergies and intolerances will always be Usdan Marketplace.

    For all special dining accomodations, it is recommended to meet with the Director of Auxiliary Services, Michelle Myers-Brown, to review your concerns. As the campus liaison to Bon Appetit, she can coordinate all support services for helping managing your dining needs. She can be reached at usdan@wesleyan.edu.

    For additional information, please visit:http://www.wesleyan.edu/studentaffairs/disabilities/FoodAllergies.html

  • I have Celiac Disease (or other medical issue)? What are my meal options?

    We actually have a number of students who have Celiac Disease, severe gluten intolerance, IBS or many other conditions that create a challenge when making dining choices, and who are able to manage their eating quite well. It does take effort by the individual and for frosh there is frequently a learning curve as they learn to handle their meal needs and choices "completely" on their own. To that end, we have a number of resources on campus that can assist students as they make the transition to determining meal choices away from home.  First, we have a registered dietician on the staff of Bon Appétit, who we recommend be contacted once on campus. We always recommend that students who identify as having a particular medical issue that impacts meal choices meet with her right away as she will walk them through meal options, avoiding cross contamination, ingredients, etc.  She will even review with the students what products are carried in the campus store, Weshop, as well as at our grab and go locations that are appropriate for a diet.  Her name is Daniele Rossner, and her email is: Daniele.Rossner@cafebonappetit.com

    (She is not on campus during the summer so contacting her beginning of Fall semester is best). Additionally we have a celiac/gluten free station in Usdan Marketplace that offers appropriate food.

    For additional information, please visit:http:www.wesleyan.edu/studentaffairs/disabilities/FoodAllergies.html

  • I have a medical issue that is going to make it hard to use dining. What can I do?
    If you are able to come to Usdan Marketplace the Bon Appetit Management team can help you get your meal.  We have trays that they will use to get whatever you want and they can help you get to a table.  If you are unable to leave your dorm due to an illness/injury, please contact health services so that they can support you during your illness.  Health services can also contact the Director of Auxiliary Services who may be able to coordinate meal delivery between Residential Life and Bon Appetit.  Whenever possible, if meal deliveries are necessary, a roomate or friend should be your first choice as Bon appetit will not have access to your dorm.
  • Can students eat in the Daniel Family Commons?
    During the school year, The Daniel Family Commons is the Faculty/Staff Dining location on campus and is not a dining facility for students.  Faculty have access to a guest charging system which encourages them to bring small groups of students (<3) with them to the "DFC" on occasion for continued conversation on academic topics out of the classroom. Unless students are with a faculty member for an academic lunch or with an adminstrator for a lunch meeting, students are not to utilize this dining space. Student meal plans will not work in the DFC.
  • Can I "brown bag" or just sit in the dining rooms in marketplace
    To enter Marketplace (servery or dining rooms)you must pay so the short answer is no.  What we recommend in these situations is ask whoever is getting lunch in Marketplace to get their meal and then bring it down to the café area where they can meet up with their friends/colleagues/faculty who are “brown bagging” it.  This helps us to avoid any questions at the second level cashier counter about going in and out of marketplace with a home packed lunch.  Students who have been released from the meal plan for extreme medical or religious reasons and who have specific permission from the Director of Auxiliary Services in conjunction with dining management and the Deans office will be allowed to bring self prepared food in to the dining venues without paying.  Students fasting for religious reasons may also accompany their friends into the space without having to pay since they would not be utilizing a meal.
  • Can I sell food to raise money for my club or organization

    There are very specific criteria for events that feature food.  If you are using Bon Appetit Catering you only need to make sure the request is a part of your reservation with appropriate funding.  The same is true for an outside caterer as long as they are a licensed caterer and an approved vendor for campus.  Your organization is responsible for insuring that funds are available to pay for all fees associated with catering.  

    If your club or organization wants to host an event where members are cooking, there are protocols that have been provided to us by the City of Middletown Health Department which must be followed.  The protocols and application form can be found at: https://www.wesleyan.edu/studentinvolvement/event_planning_resources/forms/foodpreparationwaiver.pdf 

    You must fill out the form and submit to the Director of Auxiliary Services for review at least 5 business days prior to your event.  Your form will be reviewed and you will be notified if you have received permission to prepare food for your event.  DO NOT purchase ingredients until you have received the written permission. 

  • Can I use Bon Appetit Dining to cater my event?
    Yes!  We encourage students, especially student organizations who have Activity Fee funding, to utliize Bon Appetit.  When a funded department or organization utilizes Bon Appetit the billing process is much simpler; although they can also bill departments and student groups.  They cannot bill a student account directly for catering and you cannot use your meal plan for catering.
  • Do I have to use Bon Appetit Dining for my event food.
    It is not required that Bon Appetit Dining be used for catered events, however it is highly recommended. Utilizing Bon Appetit catering can be highly efficient; especially when billing a department or organization smartkey.
  • My friends and I want to start a business. Can we open a food venue on campus?
    We have many creative students on campus who often would like to channel their ideas and energy into a food enterprise.  Unfortunately this is not something that will be approved.  To begin with, students are not permitted to operate a business from their residence (see student housing contract for specifics).  Additionally since none of the campus dorms/houses have a commercially rated kitchen, food for resale cannot be prepared in these locations.  Additionally, payment is an issue as no student organizations can access the meal plan or Middletown cash for charges.  Various other policies on employment criteria, taxes, income, liabilities and contract conflicts with the campus food service provider are prohibitive to running a food service business on campus.  For further information you should meet with the Director of Auxiliary Services
  • Can I donate some of my points to my favorite eatery?

    None of the dining locations on campus are permitted to accept donations of any kind (cash, credit, meal plan points).  Accepting donations could potentially mean a change in their tax status.  This includes locations run by Bon Appetit, Espwesso, Story and Soil, Red and Black Cafe, Wes Wings, Star & Crescent and Chique Chaque. On occasion, Bon Appetit may receive permission from Finance and Administration to run a point donation event (such as Fast-a-thon's or end of year WesShop point collection).  These events specifically benefit an organization or entity which will not create tax implications for Bon Appetit.  No other dining location on campus will be permitted to run these events.

     

  • Can I donate my remaining points to a fund or a person.
    Remaining points cannot be donated to an individual.  At the end of the Spring semester you may use your remaining points to purchase items which you can then donate to the Resource Center or a community agency of your choosing.  You would be responsible for bringing the items you purchased to the location of your choice.
  • Can I purchase a gift card with my meal plan points (@ a non Bon Appetit venue)
    Gift Cards may not be purchased with Meal Plan points.  If a non Bon Appetit venue offers gift cards you may use credit or Middletown cash to make your purchase.
  • Can I have Food Truck at my event?

    Bon Appetit, in partnership with Wesleyan University, runs a food truck on campus, weather permitting.  You should always check with Bon Appetit to see if they can provide the food truck at your event (for a fee) before considering utilizing another food truck.

    UPDATED POLICY (1/2024)

    If you would like a food truck at your event and the Wesleyan Food Truck is not available, the following steps must be followed to determine if your event can invite an off campus truck to your event:

    -A written request must be submitted through email to the Director of Auxiliary Services at least three weeks prior to the event date with all pertinent information (Space reservation number, anticipated number of attendees).  Email dining@wesleyan.edu.

    -Event organizers must be members of the University community and must provide a university smartkey that will be charged if there are any damages. No other form of payment is acceptable. 

    -Select a truck from the approved list of Food Trucks provided to you by the Director of Auxiliary Services; only trucks from list will be approved to be on campus. There is a list of eight approved food trucks who are licensed to operate within the City of Middletown.  You will be provided with this list once you make the initial contact with the Director of Auxiliary Services.

    -Contact the approved truck and make arrangements

    -Circle back to the Director of Auxiliary Services with the Food Truck information, which will then be added to your EMS reservation.

    -It is highly recommended that trucks place plywood under their vehicle to insure no leaks occur on University Property.   

    -The University cannot stop other food trucks from parking on city streets if they are in legal spaces and have the appropriate city permit.

    -When considering whether or not food trucks may be a viable option for an event, departments and student organizations should consider that food trucks can only take cash or credit.  They do not take meal plan points or middletown cash. This may mean that members of our community may not be able to fully participate in an event if they do not have the means to purchase food from the truck. 

     

  • How can I make suggestions for the dining program?
    The administration and student representatives meet several times a month to review the dining program, menu items, specials, events, feedback, suggestions. etc.  Please email any suggestions you would like brought forward to either dining@wesleyan.edu or the WSA Finance and Facilities Chair.