A clerical error resulted in some University of Richmond students who are enrolled in dining plans to be charged for meals while in isolation or quarantine for COVID-19, Terry Baker, executive director of dining services, wrote in a statement to The Collegian shared by Sunni Brown, director of media and public relations.
Students affected by the error have been reimbursed for any charges, Baker wrote.
Becca Levitt, a senior at UR, said meal swipes were deducted from her Spider 40 meal plan while she was in quarantine in late February. The Spider 40 meal plan includes 40 meal swipes at the dining hall and $1,060 dining dollars to be used at any Dining Services retail location, according to Dining Service's website.
When Levitt went to the Heilman Dining Center after leaving quarantine, she said she had six swipes left in her account, which she said had been fewer than she had when she had entered quarantine.
Levitt said she was frustrated that she had not been notified her meal swipes would be used for her meals while in quarantine.
Before students go into quarantine, a dining staff member calls each student individually to share the meal process, including requests for specific nutrition, meal preferences or dietary needs, Baker wrote.
Additionally, students receive a checklist that includes information about meal services and dining policies before going into isolation or quarantine, Levitt said. The checklist, which was obtained by The Collegian, does not state that students would be charged for meals while in isolation or quarantine.
Levitt said she had been confused because one of her friends in isolation during the same period of time had not had meal swipes deducted from her meal plan, and another friend who did not have a meal plan had not been charged.
"I sent a text to the other girls I was in quarantine with, and they had the same experience," Levitt said, "And then the ones who didn't have swipes had $25 of dining dollars deducted for every day [they were in quarantine]."
Students are not charged for dining expenditures while in isolation or quarantine regardless of whether they have a meal plan, Baker wrote.
A student who spoke to The Collegian on the condition of anonymity said she and her roommates had been charged inconsistently for the meals they had received while in isolation during late February.
The student had three swipes left in her Spider 40 meal plan, and recalled having 37 before she went into isolation, she said.
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"It looked like they had been charging us three swipes a day, which was pretty upsetting because they never told us they were doing that, and everyone we've known in quarantine hasn't been charged," she said.
The student has three other roommates, all of whom either quarantined or isolated in February. The student said one of her roommates checked her meal plan, assuming that she would have saved money, but had no swipes left after she left quarantine. Her second roommate, who has dining dollars but no meal swipes, was charged $25 a day for meals, the student said. The student's third roommate, who also has a Spider 40 meal plan, was not charged while in isolation.
The student contacted members of Dining Services individually and was able to have her meal swipes restored to her account on March 4, the student said.
Levitt also contacted members of Dining Services individually to inquire about the charges to her account, and was told that no student should have been charged for dining expenditures while in isolation or quarantine, she said.
Contact investigative editor Morgan Howland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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