Mandatory Dining is Gone for Ashdown Undergraduates

CORRECTION TO THIS ARTICLE: An article Friday about mandatory dining plan modifications for the fifty undergraduates living in NW35 Ashdown mis-stated the price of the former meal plan. It is $600 per term, not $600 per month.

Mandatory Dining is Gone for Ashdown Undergraduates

MIT has quietly discontinued a novel mandatory dining fee program in which approximately 50 undergraduates living in a dormitory were required to pay $600 this fall and in return got free dinner five nights a week.

Undergraduate residents in Ashdown Hall (the Phoenix Group) no longer have to pay $600 a month, and they no longer get free dinners.

Instead, like residents of many West Campus dormitories, they are now billed $300 a semester and in return get half-price dinner at MIT dining halls. At Ashdown’s dining hall, they pay $4 for dinner.

The Phoenix Group are now members of the House Dining program, the closest thing MIT has to a meal plan. In the program, residents of McCormick Hall, Baker House, Next House, Simmons Hall, along with NW35 undergraduates, pay half price for meals purchased in any of the dining halls in any of those five dormitories.

Ashdown’s dining hall offers all-you-can-eat dinners, making the hall the closest thing MIT has to a traditional college cafeteria. Dinner is served from 6–9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and from 6–8 p.m. on Thursdays.

Simmons Hall residents have also experimented with all-you-can-eat dinners, although those experiments have never been made permanent. An all-you-can-eat buffet in the Pritchett Dining Hall was tried in April 2007; shortly thereafter the dining hall, on the east side of campus, was closed for good.

—Michael McGraw-Herdeg