I am writing this to give you some details about the newly-established mandatory meal plan.
The mandatory meal plan was proposed and approved by the President’s Council before the January Board of Trustees meeting. The members of the President’s Council are: The President, the Provost, and Alexander Alexandrov – VP for Finance and Administration. Members of the council did not notify the Student Government (SG) before or after the decision was approved; neither did they request a student representative to attend the meeting when the plan was put to a vote. The members of the SG agree on the opinion that students should have been represented at the meeting and a decision of this degree of importance should have been shared and discussed prior to the official approval.
The meal plan has been mentioned at the Student Financial Affairs Committee, but the committee never went into details and the proposal was never put to a vote. Our student representatives in that committee raised issues about the possible implementation of the plan (please see the attachment). The Student Representative to the Board: Alba Gjino, and I raised concerns on multiple occasions about the meal plan during our informal talks with the board members.
The meal plan requires all students to deposit 500 BGN each semester. This money can be spent at the canteens on campus. The plan will start from Fall 2012 semester, even though the new Student Center will still be under construction at that point.
Every student is subject to this new regulation, this includes the students living off-campus or with their families in Blagoevgrad. We, the SG, strongly believe that this not fair: The students who have opportunity to cook their own food should not be obliged to come to campus to have a meal in the canteen.
Due to the gravity of this new regulation, the SG has taken steps to bring the students and the administration closer together to solve the problem and find a common ground. The Provost agreed to meet with students to talk about the issue. We will be selecting three students from each academic standing to meet with the Provost. Please, if you are interested, fill out the the application form attached to this email and send it back to the SG email address.
Apart from this, the Provost agreed to hold a press conference on Wednesday, 13:00. Representatives of the student media have been already invited to attend the press conference where they will have an opportunity to ask questions regarding the meal plan.
We hope that the steps described above will bridge the communication gap between the administration and the students. In case we need to take further steps towards solving the issue, we will keep the students updated on the development. Defending our students’ rights has always been our top priority, and it will continue to be so in the future.
Please, take a few minutes to fill out the survey on Work and Travel.
Your feedback is very valuable.