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Frequently Asked Questions

Students  Guests & Visitors  Faculty & Staff

  • When are the dining rooms open?

    Check out the hours of operation for all of our dining locations, as they vary between location and time of the year.

    view hours of operation

  • Can UNC departments and student clubs/organizations reserve the Banquet Room in Holmes Dining Hall during meal times?

    Absolutely. There is no cost to reserve the Holmes Banquet Room, but all guests in your group must be paying customers.

    For example, if a department wanted to use the Banquet Room for a lunch meeting, the department would either need to purchase meals for their guests or have their guests purchase their meals (by paying cash or using their payroll deduction plan).

    If a student club or organization wants to reserve one of our banquet rooms, their group would either need to pay with their department's meal card, with cash for their meals, or swipe in using meal plans.

    To reserve the Holmes Banquet Room, please contact the Dining Services Office at 970-351-2652 or diningservices@unco.edu.

  • How many people does the banquet room hold?

    Holmes Dining Hall Banquet Room:

    • 12 tables x 4 seats = max capacity 48
    • A screen is available, but you need to bring a laptop and projector.

    You are welcome to move the tables to fit you needs, but please be sure to have at least 2 people pick them up and move them so it doesn't damage the flooring. When you're done, please move the tables back to where they were before you moved them.

  • Can we bring in outside food or drink in the banquet room?

    No, you cannot bring outside food or drink into any dining room. Also, please refrain from taping anything on the walls. Essentially, we ask that you leave the room as clean as (or cleaner) than when you arrived.

    If you need something catered on campus, please contact UNC Catering.

Students

  • I live on campus in a residence hall. Why do I have to carry a meal plan?

    Residence halls do not have the adequate facilities for storage, preparation, or clean-up of meals for large numbers of students. Hall kitchens are OK for small batches of cookies or making popcorn, but they're not sufficient for you to prepare well-balanced, nutritious meals on a daily basis.

    Having meals prepared for you allows you to focus on your education instead of trying to figure out what (or how) to cook for dinner.

    All first-year students living on campus are required to carry at least a 14 Meals Per Week meal plan as stated in the Live On Campus Requirement.

    Sophomores in standing or above living in Lawrenson Hall, the Arlington Park Apartments, or in one of the UNC-owned houses can choose to carry any meal plan (or a Bear Plan, just Dining Dollars, a combination of the two, or nothing at all).

  • I live off campus. Can I still purchase a meal plan?

    Absolutely! We have On Campus Meal Plans and Bear Plans (and Dining Dollars too) for students living off campus or in Lawrenson Hall, the Arlington Park Apartments or the University-owned houses.

  • Can I check my meal plan or Dining Dollars balance?

    We have a NEW dining system, so you are now able to check your meal plan and Dining Dollar balances online! Visit the new dining portal, login, and you can manage your meal plan.

    You can also ask any cashier to run an "inquiry" on your balance.

  • Where can I use my meal plan?

    You can use your weekly meal swipes in several different locations:

    • Holmes Dining Hall
      • includes Bear On The Run
    • Bears Simply to Go (located in the Campus Commons)
    • Tobey-Kendel Dining
    • Einstein Bros® Bagels (up to 5 swipes per week)
    • Subway® (up to 5 swipes per week)

    You can use you Dining Dollars at any campus retail dining location:

    • Bears Coffee Shop at Michener Library
    • Bears Simply to Go (located in the Campus Commons)
    • Einstein Bros® Bagels at the University Center
    • Hissho Sushi at the University Center
    • Munchy Mart™ at the University Center
    • Subway® at the University Center
    • Vending machines across campus
  • How are meal plans and Dining Dollars charged and loaded onto my student account?

    All meal plans are charged to your student account and will show up on your Ursa bill. The On Campus Meal Plans are based on a “per day” charging structure, while Bear Plans are based on a "per meal" price.

    The easiest way to find out if you have a meal paln is to log in to your Ursa account and see if there is a meal plan charge. You could also log into the dining portal and look there.

  • Can I bring a friend to the dining hall or use my meal plan to swipe a friend or family member in?

    Your friends are welcome to join you for a meal, but they'll need to pay to get into the dining room whether they eat or not.

    On Campus Meal Plans are intended for your use only, so if you would like to swipe friends in on your meal plan. We recommend using Bonus Meals, if you have them. They're also handy if you run out of meals during the week. If you don't want to use your Bonus Meals, guests and visitors are welcome to pay cash prices at the door.

    Bear Plans offer more flexibility as you can use multiple swipes at a time -- they're yours to use throughout the semester, but they can run out. If you run out of swipes, you can always add more. 

  • How do I add meals to my Bear Plan?

    Use the new dining portal and manage your meal plan!

  • Can I make changes to my meal plan?

    All contract change requests must be made by the contract holder (the student) and submitted by the Drop Deadline of each semester (the 10th day of classes). Changes requested are subject to eligibility verification. We always try to notify you by email within 3 business days if you are not eligible for the contract submitted.

    To change your meal plan, you’ll need use the new dining portal to manage your meal plan. Dining charges/credits should appear on your student bill in your Ursa account within 24-48 hours of the contract being processed.

  • I’ve been approved for a release from my dining contract. Will I be charged for a meal plan?

    If you are approved for a release from your dining contract (through the Dining Services Registered Dietitian, the Housing & Dining Petition for Release, or the Disability Resource Center), your meal plan will be pro-rated based off the decision date for your petition. If you used your meal plan after that date, you will be charged through that date instead.

  • I changed my residence hall or moved off campus -- how does that affect my meal plan?

    When you move from one residence hall to another, your meal plan will remain unchanged.

    However, when you move from a “non-meal plan required” location (Lawrenson Hall, Arlington Park Apartments, and University-owned houses) to a “meal plan required” residence hall, you will automatically be assigned the 14 Meals Per Week meal plan (unless you chose something different in your online housing contract). Charges and meal plan balances will be pro-rated based on the official “move out/in” date. Students can choose a different On Campus Meal Plan within 10 days from the official “move out/in” date following eligibility rules.

    When you move off campus from a “meal plan required” residence hall (typically through the Housing & Dining contract petition for release process), the meal plan will remain active. If eligible, you may submit a request to cancel or reduce your meal plan within 10 days from the recorded “move out” date. If granted, meals (including Bonus Meals and Dining Dollars) used will be deducted from your new balance.

    When a you move off campus from a “non-meal plan required” location (Lawrenson Hall, Arlington Park Apartments, and University-owned houses), your meal plan will remain active. No changes will be facilitated unless the move is within the first ten days of classes.

  • I withdrew from UNC, what will happen to my meal plan?

    UNC’s withdrawal policy has recently changed, so please make sure you've read through all of the information.

    Dining Services will charge a daily rate (per diem) to students who withdraw from the fall semester by the Drop Deadline of each semester.

    You must be a registered student to carry a meal plan, so meal plans (including Dining Dollars) will be deactivated once you have withdrawn from the university.

  • When does a new week start with my meal swipes?

    When you're at the dining room and check your meal balance, you may notice that your meals seem to count down to zero. Don't worry, this is normal!

    For On Campus Meal Plan purposes, the new week starts Monday morning. Your meals will reset Sunday night when the nightly process runs. Meals not consumed each week are forfeited.

    For Bear Plan holders, your balance is a true balance and does count down to zero. When you're close to being out of meals, be sure to add meals as needed.

  • Do my unused meals or Dining Dollars carry over to the next semester or are they refunded?

    Meal plans (On Campus Meal Plans, Bear Plans, and Dining Dollars) are only valid for the semester the plan is purchased. Meals will not be carried forward, and there is no monetary refund for uneaten meals. Summer Bear Plans are available during summer session only.

    Dining Dollars balances will carry forward from Fall to Spring, but they expire at the end of Spring semester. Summer Dining Dollars are available during summer session only.

  • I have special dietary needs and/or food allergies, what can Dining Services do for me?

    We make every effort to accommodate a diverse array of dietary needs. Our Registered Dietitian, is available to answer any questions you might have about how we can help with your specific dietary considerations. 

    We have a special station in Holmes called Simple Servings, and it is a good choice for students with allergies or dietary restrictions (the food is free of 7 of the 8 top allergens).

    Dining Services is committed to providing students with a variety of healthy and nutritious meal options. However, with over 6,000 students being served per day, individual meal requests can be considered only with appropriate documentation from a physician.

    If you have special dietary needs that are not being met, we urge you to contact our Registered Dietitian at 970-351-1961 or Matthew.Doyle@unco.edu.

  • What do I do if I've forgotten my UNC Card, lost it, or it doesn't work?

    For security reasons, our policy is to not allow students in any of our dining rooms without their UNC Card. We understand circumstances will come up when you don't have your ID Card on hand, however, to enter without your UNC Card, you must still have some form of ID and your Bear Number to prove who you are.

    The staff at the UNC Card Office can assist you Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to obtain a new UNC Card if you lose it or it stops working.

Guests & Visitors

Faculty & Staff

  • Can faculty and staff have meal charges deducted from their paychecks?

    Faculty, Classified/Exempt Staff, and Teaching/Graduate Assistants at UNC are eligible to sign up for the Payroll Deduction program through Dining Services. To sign up for the Payroll Deduction plan, submit your request.

    Once your status has been verified and your UNC Card has been activated, you can use it to swipe at one of our dining locations (listed in the next question).

    Swipes in the dining locations (Holmes, Tobey-Kendel, and Bears Simply To Go) are currently $8 + tax = $8.56 per swipe. Don't forget you can also use your card at our retail dining locations for your food and beverage purchases.

    Charges come directly out of your monthly paycheck. By signing and submitting the application form, you authorize UNC's Payroll department to deduct from your monthly paycheck for food and beverage items (charged from the 16th to the 15th of each month) in participating dining locations at UNC. If your status at UNC is not full-time, charging privileges will be inactive during the months in which you do not receive a paycheck. Authorization continues until withdrawn by the employee or until no longer employed by UNC. 

    Teaching and Graduate Assistants are only eligible for this program during active contract periods. Meal access will end the 15th day of the month of your last paycheck. Application forms must be re-submitted at the end of each contract period if you want to continue with this payroll deduction program.

  • Where can I use my UNC Card for Faculty/Staff Payroll Deduction?

    You can use your UNC ID Card to swipe a meal at any of the following dining locations:

    • Holmes Dining Hall (including Bear On The Run)
    • Tobey-Kendel Dining (Bear On The Run only)
    • Bears Simply To Go at Campus Commons (formerly known as Gourmet To Go)

    You can also use your UNC Card to deduct your campus retail dining purchases at any of the following locations:

    At the University Center

    • Einstein Bros® Bagels
    • Hissho Sushi
    • Munchy Mart™
    • Subway®

    Across Campus

    • Bears Coffee Shop at Michener Library (formerly known as Coffee Corner)
    • Bears Simply To Go at Campus Commons (formerly known as Gourmet To Go)
      • You can also purchase items separately, not just with the "bundle"
    • Beverage and snack vending machines