UPDATED: February 25, 2016, at 10:26 p.m.
This March, some undergraduates can eat Felipe’s burritos and Hong Kong’s scallion pancakes on Harvard’s dime.
A new spring break meal plan will close all House dining halls and instead allocate students on financial aid cash stipends for meals during spring break, according to Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana.
In lieu of dining hall meals, undergraduates on high levels of financial aid will qualify for $225 allotments throughout the week-long break, an equivalent of $25 dollars per day to spend on food, Khurana said. Students who do not currently receive aid from the College may consult their resident deans to determine whether or not they qualify for the funding, Khurana said.
“There will be no restrictions on the funds,” Khurana said. “Students can use them to meet a variety of their expenses, whether they want to buy groceries and cook in their residential kitchens to going out with friends.”
The new system gives students additional flexibility, Khurana said, since administrators will have no oversight over how students will spend their stipends.
The current spring break dining plan differs from a pilot program the College launched last spring break, when dining halls in Currier House and Dunster House provided brunch, lunch, and dinner service during the week. A student-faculty group focusing on diversity and inclusion as well as the Working Group on First Generation College Students recommended expanding spring break dining policies, according to Emelyn A. dela Peña, the College's assistant dean of student life for equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Anticipating criticism that closing dining halls could jeopardize House life over spring break, Khurana said he will host group events for students, such as gatherings with pizza.
Khurana said administrators will soon notify students who are eligible for the spring break funding.
—Staff writer Jalin P. Cunningham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @JalinCunningham.
—Staff writer Ignacio Sabate can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter@ignacio_sabate.
This article has been revised to reflect the following clarification:
CLARIFICATION: February 25, 2016
An earlier version of this article stated that Khurana said undergraduates on financial aid would qualify for the spring break stipends. To clarify, students on high financial aid packages will qualify for the funds.