Participation in the residential dining experience is one of the fundamental cornerstones of community development among residents of the Houses. All students living in The Houses are assigned a dining plan.
For this reason, it is rare that students are excused from the board requirement. However, there are cases where a student may petition their dining plan. Housing only considers petitions for medical or religious reasons; lifestyle choices (ie; vegan, vegetarian, raw foodist) will not be approved.
To be released from the board requirement altogether is unusual, and requires substantial documentation that would allow the student to receive accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This process is coordinated through the Student Disability Services Office.
Residents of Burton-Judson, Max Palevsky, and Renee Granville-Grossman Residential Commons cannot be exempted from a dining plan altogether because there are not adequate kitchen facilities in these buildings for general student use. Students will have to move elsewhere in Housing & Residence Life, if space is available, if they wish to pursue a dining plan petition and it is approved.
A student who believes they should be exempt from the dining plan should first make an appointment with the Assistant Director of Dining who handles dining petitions to discuss the reason for their request. At that meeting, the process will be explained in detail and the student will receive a Dining Plan Petition form. It takes about 2 (two) weeks for a decision to be rendered once all the documentation is in.
UChicago Dining needs the ability to evaluate if it is possible to provide the kind of foods that the doctor recommends. This is the first step that we take when we receive a petition. There will be two meetings where UChicago Dining work closely with the student to develop a plan. UChicago Dining need the opportunity to try to meet medical needs after these meetings. If UChicago Dining and Housing & Residence Life feel that it’s not possible to meet the medical needs as outlined in the recommendation provided by Student Disability Services, then the student will be released from the dining plan requirement (and their room changed if necessary).