UOG launches electronic card system for meal plans

DORM DINING: University of Guam dormitory resident Elias David enjoys a meal at the dormitory cafeteria. Starting this semester, students with meal plans will be issued electronic cards to track their 120 meals per semester. Photo courtesy of the University of Guam

The University of Guam Information Technology department has developed an electronic meal card system to track students' use of their meal plans at the dormitory dining facility and convenience store.

"We launched the meal plan last year using a paper system, but this new card system allows for more efficient tracking and also provides students more flexibility for how they want to manage their meal plan," said Jonathan Triplett, director of residence halls at UOG.

The meal plan provides 120 all-you-can-eat meals per semester, which students can redeem starting Aug. 14 at the dormitory dining facility for lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday, lunch on Saturday and dinner on Sunday. A takeout option from the cafeteria is also available if a request is submitted to the director of residence halls. The cafeteria does not serve individual meals outside of the semester meal plan.

The meal card also can be used at the dormitory convenience store, which has a variety of drinks, snacks and hot lunches.

Each student staying in the dormitories is required to have the meal plan. Students not living on campus also can sign up for a meal plan through the Residence Halls Office on a semester basis.

"Compared to other universities, it is one of the most affordable meal plans at $800 per semester, or about $6.25 per meal," stated a release from UOG.

UOG is expected to welcome 966 new students this semester, with 180 students living on campus.

Prior to the implementation of meal plan cards, students were cooking for themselves in the dormitory kitchens.

'The university is moving up'

Chief information officer Rommel Hidalgo and his team set up the card system, which scans into a computer program using a personalized QR code. The system was tested this summer with a cohort of study-abroad students who were residing in the dormitories.

"I think with these new technologies that we are implementing, it shows the students that the university is moving up as far as technology and implementation," Hidalgo said.

LSG Sky Chefs is on its second year of a three-year contract to both cater the dining service and operate and supply the convenience store in the dorms.

The dining facility is located on the second floor of Dormitory 3 and provides meal service from noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday.

The convenience store is located on the first floor of Dormitory 1 and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.


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