FAQ: What Can Be Charged on a Meal Plan?

Posted: March 5, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

This frequently asked questions column appears in the Daily Gazette every Tuesday. All questions originate from the green comment boxes located throughout the university, or are items brought to the attention of the Quality of Work Life Committee. Answers are supplied by the appropriate academic unit, department, or office. One question is answered per week.

Q: I charged a popsicle to my meal plan one day, but two days later a different cashier wouldn’t let me do that. Why is this? You guys should straighten out what can be put on a meal plan and what can’t.

A: Virginia State Code provides that two things can be sold to students on a sales tax exempt basis. One is textbooks; the other is meal plans. A meal consists of items that are prepared on site or reasonably bundled with a prepared meal. A popsicle does not fit the definition. Neither do bottled beverages, chips, or candy.

George Mason has always had a difficult time with this issue. The food service provider does its best to clearly mark on the counter or cooler which items qualify for the meal plan and which do not. It has always been the case in the mixed-service stores that anything marked for individual sale is by definition not meal plan qualified. The cashiers try to make that clear when the purchaser arrives at the register. By the same token, students should not intimidate the cashier into allowing them to purchase unqualified items on their meal plans. –Peter Mohle, director of the All-University Card Office, x32870.

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