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Memorial Union Meal Plans Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most commonly asked questions

When and where can I use my meal plan?

You can use your meal plan swipes any time during the Hornets Nest or Slice of Life hours of operation and your Dining Dollars any time during the hours of operation for any on-campus dining venue. For meal plan swipes in the Hornets Nest and Slice of Life, there are no restrictions on the number of meals you may eat per day. Each time you enter the Hornets Nest or purchase from Slice of Life, one meal swipe will be deducted from your block meal count.

What are dining dollars and how do they work?

Your meal plan comes with $125/$275/$325 per semester in Dining Dollars depending on the plan selected, which is already built into the price of the meal plan. Dining Dollars is like a debit account on your Hornet ID card. Each time you use Dining Dollars, the amount spent is deducted from your balance. Dining Dollars are primarily for use in Starbucks, Buzzcotti, Slice of Life, and Hornet Express. However, you may also use your Dining Dollars 1) for guest entry into the Hornet Nest, or 2) for your own entry if you are on the 150 block or 65 block Meal Plan and have run out of meal swipes for the semester.

Any unused Dining Dollars at the end of the fall semester roll over to the spring semester. Any unused Dining Dollars at the end of the spring semester are forfeited; they are non-refundable and non-transferable.

How do I make changes to my meal plan?

You can make ONE change to your meal plan up until 5:00PM on the second Friday of each semester. After the meal plan change deadline, you may not change to a lower tier meal plan and you may not add or remove Dining Dollars; you are locked into that plan for the remainder of the semester. However, at any point in the semester, you may change to a higher tier meal plan if you have not previously made a change. For on-campus students, if you make a change to your meal plan, the appropriate refund or additional charge will be calculated and applied to your university account.

On-Campus Students can use the following link to change their meal plan:
All students can walk into the Union Services Office (MU110) located in the Memorial Union to change their meal plan.

What if I have a problem with my meal plan?

Visit the Memorial Union ID Office, Room 110 on the first floor of the Union. Be sure to bring your Hornet ID card with you.

What if my schedule doesn't allow me time to eat in any of the dining options?

If your class schedule or other circumstances prevent you from being able to eat a meal during a typical meal timeframe (for example, you have classes back-to-back from 9:00AM-3:00PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays), set up an appointment with the Sodexo General Manager, to help you develop a to-go meal plan. They can be contacted by email at or by phone at (620) 341-5903.

What if I am sick? Is there a way for me to get a meal in my residence hall room?

If you live in the residence halls and you are sick, or temporarily immobile due to an injury, you can arrange for a sick meal. To get a sick meal, call or visit the reception center in your residence hall. The Reception Center assistant will complete a sick meal request and submit it to Sodexo. Your meal will be ready for pick-up 30 minutes after the order is placed. You will need to arrange for a friend to pick up the meal and deliver it to you.

What if I have food allergies or dietary restrictions?

If you have food allergies or other dietary restrictions that cause you concern for your ability to dine in the Hornet Nest or other dining venues, start by scheduling a meeting with the Sodexo General Manager, or our Sodexo Executive Chef. They will assess your needs and try to develop a plan or special arrangements to meet your needs. Sodexo Dining Services has options in place to accommodate a number of common food allergies and dietary conditions such as gluten intolerance. They can be contacted by email at or by phone at (620) 341-5903.

If you have a severe, medically-diagnosed and documented dietary condition and Sodexo Dining Services cannot meet your needs, can contact Student Accessibility and Support Service (SASS), at or (620) 341-6637 to inquire about applying for a Meal Plan Medical Exemption.

What if I am in need of emergency food assistance?

Going hungry doesn’t have to be your normal. Neither does worrying about where you’ll sleep tonight or if you can afford to pay your bills. ESU's Basic Needs Coalition is here to help.