ISU Dining offers convenient services across campus

Jaden Urbi

ISU Dining provides a wide variety of dining plan options to fit your unique needs. All students living in residence halls other than Wallace or Wilson halls are required to have a meal plan. All students are able to purchase a meal plan whether it is required for them or not.

Meal plans versus meal bundles

Meal plans include a combination of meals and Dining Dollars that can be used at 21 locations across campus. There are two ways to use a meal swipe — using a meal plan or using a meal bundle.

Meal plans can be used at any of the four all-you-can-eat facilities: Conversations Dining, Seasons Marketplace, Storms Dining and Union Drive Marketplace. These facilities are conveniently located in or near the residence halls.

“The dining centers have different styles but they all provide a wide variety of food,” said Brittney Rutherford, marketing director for ISU Dining.

Meal bundles can be used at seven different locations on campus. Meal bundles consist of one main entree and three sides that can easily be taken on the go.

“The menus at the dining center change every day for four weeks while the meal bundle menus typically stay the same with a rotating special,” Rutherford said. “It’s all up to what works best for the student and their schedule.”

Dining Dollars and CyCash

Dining Dollars is a form of money set aside for students to use at any dining facility and select vending machines on campus.

CyCash is a different form of money not included in meal plans and is generally used for laundry but can be used in place of Dining Dollars as well.

“Grab a meal with your floor mates, it’s much easier to get to know people and have a conversation over food rather than grabbing a meal bundle and sitting in your room,” Rutherford said.

Purchasing a plan

When purchasing a meal plan, students have 5 different options: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Cardinal and Cyclone. Each meal plan lasts the duration of one semester.

Bronze — 125 meals and 300 Dining Dollars, average 8 meals per week

Silver — 175 meals and 250 Dining Dollars, average 11 meals per week

Gold — 225 meals and 200 Dining Dollars, average 14 meals per week

Cardinal — 275 meals and 150 Dining Dollars average 17 meals per week

Cyclone — 304 meals and 125 Dining Dollars, average 19 meals per week

The Gold plan comes as the default plan, but students can change their meal plan at any time up until the first Friday of classes and again between semesters.

“Make sure you are on the right plan once the school year starts, get a feel for how much you are actually going to eat and where during the first week of classes,” Rutherford said.

Healthy options

There are healthy options available to students at all dining locations. There is an online tool called NetNutrition that allows students to easily keep track of their nutrition intake from the campus dining services. NetNutrition includes a filter for special diets and allergies to help students better plan their meals.

Union Drive Marketplace has a special diet kitchen that contains food for students who require special food due to food allergies or intolerances.

“Know where you can use your meal plan and plan ahead,” said Lisa Nolting, ISU Dining dietitian. “The menus and nutrition facts are all online, making it easy for students to follow a healthy diet.”