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The Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life (CHUL) will vote today on two student resolutions to use surplus funds generated by a reduction in the Massachusetts meals tax to reinstitute hot breakfasts in all Houses during the spring semester and the January examination period.
Dean Fox said Friday he would not support funding the breakfasts next semester unless CHUL voted to do so. Fox said he would probably agree to a Collegewide poll on ways of reinstituting hot breakfasts if CHUL votes in favor of a student resolution to conduct such a referendum.
"I think the Corporation would have to be persuaded that there was widespread support if it were to raise the board fees at mid-year," Fox said.
In order for administrators to use the meals tax surplus to reinstitute hot breakfasts, the Corporation must vote to raise board fees by an amount roughly equal to the surplus, Fox said last month.
The University billed students for board on the assumption that the meals tax would be 8 per cent, but the legislature voted last summer to reduce it to 6 per cent.
A legal opinion administrators obtained last month stated that the University must return the $15.50 it collected in anticipation of the higher tax rate.
Fox said Friday the proposed poll would be conducted in January and might also query students on security issues.
A poll Megan Lesser '78, Leverett House CHUL representative, conducted this weekend shows that 145 of the 270 Leverett residents who responded to the poll favor returning the surplus funds to students.
Sixty-nine pollees said they preferred using the money to reinstitute hot breakfasts, while 35 said a portion of the money should go toward providing breakfasts in all Houses during the January exam period and 21 asked for both options.
Leverett is one of the four houses that serves hot breakfasts.
Lesser said yesterday because of the poll she would probably not vote for the resolutions. She added "I'd rather have the Corporation increase the accountability of Food Services, which I think would significantly reduce the cost of board, than throw the cost of reinstituting hot breakfasts on to students."
William T. Prewitt '79, North House CHUL representative, said yesterday he thought the resolution he sponsored, which asks that the meals tax surplus be used to reinstitute hot breakfasts for the spring semester, had the support of most of CHUL's student members.
"I'm for the resolution because most people in North and outside told me they were in favor of it," Prewitt said.
A resolution that Joseph F. Savage Jr. '78, Quincy House CHUL representative, has sponsored would ask that part of the meals tax money be used to fund hot breakfasts in all Houses during the January exam period.
"I think they'll have a problem of overcrowding at the hot breakfast Houses during exams. A lot of people who don't normally eat breakfast do eat breakfast when they have an exam," Savage said yesterday.
Figures that Frank J. Weissbecker, director of Food Services, submitted to CHUL show that the cost of providing meals varies widely among the Houses and the Union.
The average meal prepared at the Union costs only about $1.90 to produce, while meals served at Quincy House cost $2.71.
Weissbecker said Friday the variation is largely a function of the number of students a dining hall serves.
The figures also show that the average student on board consumes only two-thirds of the meals Food Services provides.
On average students eat about half the breakfasts and approximately 80 per cent of the lunches and dinners to which the board contract entitles them
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