MSA looks into Tiger Plan

Senate Speaker Mark McDaniel: “I think we can all agree that the advertising on the Tiger Plan is misleading at best and deceptive at worst.”

The Missouri Students Association plans to educate students about the Tiger Plan and meet with Campus Dining Services to discuss concerns about marketing materials for the plan.

The MSA Campus and Community Relations and Student Affairs committees held a joint meeting Tuesday to discuss the association’s response to complaints about Campus Dining Services’ Tiger Plan, including an editorial published by The Maneater last week.

The Tiger Plan is CDS’ new off-campus dining plan. Students with the Tiger Plan can shop at all Campus Dining locations, including Mizzou Markets and Student Center restaurants. The department’s website advertises that students receive a discount of “up to 63 percent off the cash price” at all locations, but students do not earn the full discount if the base cost, which they must pay to receive the discount, is taken into consideration.

With the base cost factored in, students earn a discount of about 15 percent at all-you-care-to-eat locations and actually spend more than they would by paying in cash at all other locations.

“I think we can all agree that the advertising on the Tiger Plan is misleading at best and deceptive at worst,” Senate Speaker Mark McDaniel said during the meeting.

Both MSA and RHA presidents were given marketing materials for the plan before it was released. Both told The Maneater they raised concerns about the high base cost, but said the plan was already fully developed by that point.

At the joint meeting, senators came to a consensus on two main courses of action. The first was to meet with CDS to talk about problems senators saw in the plan, which includes the way it is presented to students. CCRC Chairman Hunter Windholz said he had already scheduled a meeting with CDS Director Julaine Kiehn next Friday.

“We are going to come to [Kiehn] with the perspective of concerned student, an average concerned student, the student who wasn’t able to go and do all this inner math that would’ve been needed to be done to determine the actual miniscule benefits within this Tiger Plan,” Windholz said.

During the meeting, McDaniel and other Senate leaders emphasized the importance of building relationships with administrators such as Kiehn. MSA collaborates with CDS on other projects as well, such as CCRC’s Food Truck Friday.

The second part of the plan is to prepare educational materials about the cost of the Tiger Plan to distribute through advertisements on KCOU and MUTV as well as social media. These materials would help students who had already purchased the plan to understand the most effective places to use it.

MSA also hopes to obtain information from surveys CDS has issued students to evaluate the plan, which is in its first semester and pilot stage. The cost structure of the plan could change based on the way students use it.

Until the information from the surveys becomes available, it is unclear whether students who have the Tiger Plan use it primarily at all-you-care-to-eat locations, which CDS has said is how the plan is intended to be used, or at other locations where they receive less product for the cost.

“That’s why the surveys are so important,” McDaniel said. “The short-term plan is getting students aware of what’s going on.”

Edited by Claire Mitzel | cmitzel@themaneater.com

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