By Justina Kilumelume
Contrary to popular student belief, Creative Dining Services does not give out meal tickets to students or faculty for free meals.
“We create the meal tickets and the departments give them out. When we get them back we charge that department. Essentially, the meal tickets aren’t really free,” said James Chantanasombut, the Director and Executive Chef of Kalamazoo College Dining Services. “It’s up to the different department to decide how to use the tickets. We just charge the account when we get the ticket.”
The meal tickets, which were previously orange, have now been changed to white. They are actually given out by different departments for different reasons, usually as perks to student workers and students who don’t have meal plans when they have to attend an event in the cafeteria over lunch or dinner with faculty members or visitors.
Not every department has access to the meal tickets. These meal tickets are not free and it’s up to each department to request the tickets from Shurron Fry, the Creative Dining Office manager. Fry does the billing and charges back to each department’s account. Some of the departments that use the meal cards are the CIP, CCPD, Registrar’s office, and the office of the Provost. They use them for staff meetings, to buy meals for their staff, to take professors to lunch, lunch meetings with important guests, and workshops.
According to Pat Marcinkowski, the Prospective Student Resource Coordinator, the Office of Admissions gives meal tickets to current students who are part of K-crew who do greeting, which is taking parents to lunch if they are not on a meal plan. Tickets are also given to people who will be hosting prospective students overnight.
“We don’t just give them to anybody who wants them. It’s for those doing specific things on campus,” Marcinkowski said.
Admissions uses meal tickets the most because of the many people and programs they have to deal with. They have even been given special permission to print the meal tickets when they need them.
Within the different departments, the meal tickets are not only limited to those who aren’t on meal plans. This means that students who have meal plans are eligible to receive meal tickets.
However, Creative Dinning still has perks for both faculty and students. Seniors can get lunch for only $5 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Faculty gets discounts for lunch on Tuesdays.
“There have been special events which we have helped sponsor, but we don’t just hand out free meal tickets to anyone,” Chantanasombut said.