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Dining FAQ for students

What is a meal plan?

A meal plan is a pre-paid account for your on-campus dining purchases. Meal plans are set up at the beginning of each academic term and are charged to your tuition bill. Meal plans include a set number of meals and Viking Bucks which are electronically loaded onto your student ID. Whenever the card is used, your meal plan account balance is automatically debited.

Meal plans are non-transferable and cannot be used by others. Meal plan holders are required to show photo ID upon entry or for purchase with their plans. Violations are subject to charges under the Student Code.

What is a meal swipe?

Meal swipes (debiting your card) can be used at the all-you-can-eat Gerber Center Dining Room or to pay for meal bundles at a la carte dining areas, which include Gus' Snack Bar, Brew by the Slough and Westerlin Market. Meal swipes on the Any 80 and Any 100 meal plans roll over term-to-term during the academic year.

Any meal swipes left in your account at the end of the academic year are forfeited. 

What are Viking Bucks?

Viking Bucks are the second part of your meal plan and are valued dollar-for-dollar. They can be used at any Dining Services location on campus: this includes the Gerber Center Dining Room, Brew by the Slough, Westerlin Market, Gus' Snack Bar, and concession stands at Knowlton Outdoor Athletics Complex and Carver P.E. Center. All Viking Bucks roll over term to term during the academic year. Any Viking Bucks left in your account at the end of the academic year are forfeited.

Who is required to have a meal plan?

All first-year students and sophomores are required to choose an on-campus meal plan. Off-campus juniors, seniors and commuter students are not required to have a plan but may choose from any of the plans we offer.

How do I sign up for a meal plan?

First-year students and sophomores automatically are assigned the Any 15 plan. Juniors and seniors who want a meal plan may add a plan by calling or stopping in to the Dining Services Office at any time. Any changes to the type of meal plan you have must be made during the first two weeks of the term.

How can I check my meal plan account balance?

Meal plan account balances can be checked by asking a cashier at any dining location or by calling or stopping in at the Dining Services Office.

Can I add additional Viking Bucks or meals to my account?

You may add Viking Bucks or meals to your account at any time. Visit or call the Dining Services Office. In order to add Viking Bucks to your tuition bill, you need to add a minimum of $50 to your account. (Smaller purchases need to be paid for with credit/debit cards or cash.) Blocks of 25 meals can be added to your plan and charged to your tuition bill.

What happens to meals and Viking Bucks I don't use?

Viking Bucks and off-campus meal plan swipes roll over term to term during the academic year. At the end of the academic year, they are forfeited. No refunds are given.

How much do meals cost at the Gerber Center Dining Room?

Students with meal plans can use swipes in the Gerber Center Dining Room. Visitors can buy a meal using Viking Bucks, credit/debit cards or cash. Meals in the Gerber Center Dining Room are all-you-can-eat. Breakfast is $9; lunch is $10.96; and dinner is $11.45. Carryout meals are the same price.

What is continuous dining?

At the Gerber Center Dining Room we offer the convenience of continuous dining, which means we are ready to serve you a hot meal any time during the open hours.

Is carryout available?

At the Gerber Center Dining Room you have the option of creating your own to-go meal which can be paid for with a meal swipe, Viking Bucks, cash, credit/debit cards or checks.

To-go meals are the same price as a sit-down meal.

One to-go container and mug is included with on-campus meal plans for first-year and transfer students only.

To be issued your first container, ask at the register. You may purchase a to-go container or mug for $5 each. Due to the type of plan, students with the Gold Plan Unlimited are not allowed to use the to-go meals or meal bundle options.

Students may exchange their used boxes for a redemption card.  

What if I can't make it to the Gerber Center before closing?

We have extended hours at the Brew by the Slough and Westerlin Market.

How do I get a sick meal from Gerber Dining? 

If you are able to get your own sick meal from dining, it is suggested you get it to go with the to-go box program provided. If you're not feeling well enough to go to the Gerber Dining Center, you may arrange for a friend to pick up a meal for you. Simply call the dining office at 309-794-7543 or 309-794-7271 and give your full name, ID number and the reason for the to-go meal.  Your friend can make your selections and bring your food back to your room.

What is a meal bundle?

Meal bundles generally include choice of entreé, two sides dishes and a drink. Bundles can be purchased with a meal swipe. Bundles are available at the Westerlin Market, Gus' Snack Bar and Brew.

Entreés include items sandwiches, wraps, salads, yogurt parfaits, and fruit and vegetable trays. (Hot grilled items also are available as an entreé option at the Snack Bar.) Side dishes include pasta salad, cottage cheese, carrots, apple slices, fresh fruit, cheese and chips. Drinks include soda, bottled water or milk.

Can friends join me in the dining room if they aren't planning on eating?

Due to the open availability of food in our dining room, only those who have purchased a meal are allowed. When leaving, only an ice-cream cone or cookie may be taken from the dining room.

Where is the Dining Services Office?

We are located in the Dining Room: Just ask the cashier to point you in the right direction. You can visit the office Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

What if I have special dietary needs?

Dining locations offer a variety of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options daily. If you want more information, contact the Dining Services Office.