Convenience and flexibility are the hallmarks of a new slate of on-campus dining options for Kansas University students, faculty and staff members.
A program called KU Cuisine will allow members of the KU community to sign up for various meal plans that will let them eat not only at student dining centers, but also at the Kansas and Burge unions, the Underground (the newly redesigned and renamed Wescoe Terrace) and satellite locations across campus.
It's the result of a July 1 merger of the department of student housing's dining services and KU Memorial Unions intended especially to give students living in residence halls the option of having plans that offer meal flexibility
"The justification for doing this merger is that we want a unified, integrated food operation on campus that is not hindered by organizational barriers," said David Mucci, director of the KU Memorial Unions. "We think we've achieved that by putting the two systems together."
The goal of the merger is, ultimately, to serve the customer better.
"The notion is we can give more options and more choices if we're all under one umbrella," said Ken Stoner, director of student housing.
KU Cuisine is designed to provide maximum flexibility in more than a dozen campus locations.
"This year, when (students) signed up to live in the residence halls, (they were) able to buy a package that had a set number of meals in the dining hall and a cash component that (they) could spend anywhere on campus. That's what's new," Mucci said.
In the past, if students were going to use their meal plans, they had to go back to the residence halls.
"It's very convenient, it's very flexible," Mucci said. "I think it's going to be great for students. Faculty and staff can also join in this program. You just put money on the card, and we're giving a 10 percent discount on food."
KU Cuisine Cash is value added to the magnetic strip that appears on a KU Card; it's used like a dining debit card. All campus dining locations will discount 10 percent of purchases made with KU Cuisine Cash. It's possible to add KU Cuisine Cash to a KU Card at any time.
Meanwhile, dining center meals on the KU Cuisine plans can be used in the student housing all-you-care-to-eat dining centers: Ekdahl's Dining Commons (Mrs. E's), Oliver Dining Center or GSP Dining Center.
For the 2004-2005 academic year, seven KU Cuisine meal plans will be offered. Five KU Cuisine plans offer a combination of all-you-care-to-eat meals in any student housing dining centers, plus KU Cuisine Cash on an active KU Card. KU Cuisine also offers two KU Cuisine Cash-only options. A KU Card will be required for each transaction.
Individual KU Cuisine accounts can be completely managed online at the Web site at www.kucuisine.com.
"We have recently switched from using a smart chip, in which all the data is contained on the KU Card, to an online system that has more features that allow us to move dollars and meals across the system effectively," Mucci said.
"I think people will be pleased with the options, with the discounts and the ease the new program offers."
|Here are some frequently asked questions (and answers) about the KU Cuisine program:How do I use my KU Cuisine meal plan? Your KU Card is required for each transaction. Present your KU Card for a meal swipe in the all-you-care-to-eat dining centers, or have your card scanned at any of the campus dining centers in order to use your KU Cuisine Cash (which works like a debit card).What if I'm not living in university housing? That's OK. KU Cuisine plans work for any KU student, faculty or staff member. All you need is an active KU Card.How do I figure out which plan is best for me? Your goal should be to choose and use exactly what you'll need for the year. Five KU Cuisine plans offer a combination of all-you-care-to-eat meals in any student housing dining centers, plus KU Cuisine Cash on your KU Card, so you can pick up a meal or snacks. KU Cuisine also offers two KU Cuisine Cash-only options.For more detailed information about the KU Cuisine meal plans, see www.kucuisine.com.|