There are a variety reasons why we (Juniata College) require residential students to carry a meal plan. Our residence halls are not well equipped for meal preparation. If many residential students were involved with meal preparation on a regular on-going basis we would be at greater risk of fire safety violations and health code concerns (insect infestation, mold, food-related illnesses etc.).
All first-year students are required to carry meal plan #1 (all inclusive) during the first semester. The #1 meal plan encourages first-year students to focus on their studies and affords better acclimation to college without the distraction of meal preparation. The #1 meal plan also assures first-year students access to a well-balanced nutritious diet. Returning students (including first-year students returning for the spring semester are required to carry a meal plan and may choose from three different meal plan options (plans 1-3). Returning students who live in small house areas (apartment style residences equipped with kitchens) and off-campus students and commuter students may opt for any meal plan (Meal Plans 1-3, 4 & 5). Meal plans 2-5 include a block number of meals and declining balance dollars.
Procedures for Requesting a Meal Exception:
There are extenuating circumstances that may warrant an exception to the meal plan requirement. Students who wish to petition for special consideration should follow the procedures outlined in the Pathfinder (Juniata webpage, click on co-curricular information, and click on Dining Services). If the request is based upon medical conditions which require dietary restrictions, a doctor's note simply requesting release does not suffice. The student should submit a specific dietary plan for review.
In all cases, students should check with the Student Financial Planning Office regarding any potential impact on aid. Sometimes reducing costs also reduces need and may result in the reduction of aid eligibility. ALL MEAL PLAN PETITIONS SHOULD CONFIRM THAT THE STUDENT HAS CONSULTED WITH THE STUDENT FINANCIAL PLANNING OFFICE REGARDING ANY IMPACT ON FINANCIAL AID.
Petitions for meal plan waivers/exceptions must be received prior to the beginning of the semester to which the appeal pertains. Petitions for meal plan waivers/exceptions are reviewed during Student Affairs staff meetings (staff meetings are typically held every Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m.). Meal Plan waivers/exceptions are granted on a semester-by-semester basis.
If you have any questions regarding the appeal process please contact the Dean of Students Office (phone: 814-641-3150 or stop by Room 213 Founders Hall).