Ryerson has announced long-awaited meal plan changes that will ensure students in residence won’t lose the remaining balance on their accounts.
The school promised changes last September after students complained that they couldn’t spend all of the money on their meal plans before the end of the year, thus losing leftover funds. After an investigation, The Ryersonian found that it is possible for the school to offer meal plan refunds while still following Canada Revenue Agency guidelines.
Starting April 1, students will be able to choose from four options on how to use their leftover cash.
Under one option, money is carried forward into the next school year to be used for meal purchases on campus.
The second option will allow students to transfer credit of up to 20 per cent of the plan’s original value to their RAMSS account.
The cap was put in place to encourage students to continue to eat on campus, said Janice Winton, Ryerson’s vice-president administration and finance. This option will have an administrative fee of five per cent for remaining balances over $50 and a fee of $2.50 for lower balances.
Left over money can be used for printing, campus store
This administrative fee also applies to the third option. It allows students to put the remaining balance towards the campus fund section of their OneCard. This can be used to pay for printing or items in the campus store.
The final option allows students to donate their remaining funds to Ryerson’s Emergency Food Fund, which funds initiatives like the food bank run by the Ryerson Students’ Union.
Students will have to choose their preferred option via an online form by May 15 of this year or the money will automatically to default to the first option.
This new system will see a loss of $25 to 30 thousand in revenue for Ryerson Food Services – Ryerson Eats. But Winton said this won’t take a toll on services.
“It’s less than one per cent of their total revenue, so it’s not going to make a significant difference,” Winton said.
“It’s a multi-million dollar organization, it’s not going to affect them too much.”
The move comes after Ryerson administration received pressure from students to change the policy, which included a petition on Change.org that was signed by over 300 students.