Dining Plan Petition
Deadline to submit a Dining Plan Petition
January 29, 2021
May I be released from the dining plan if I am a first or second year student?
Dining Plan requirement:
- All first-year and second-year students who live off-campus are required to enroll in a dining plan, at minimum the Commuter dining plan.
- All first-year students who live in university residence halls (including Aron Residence) are required to enroll in Unlimited, TU 15, or Kosher dining plan.
- All second-year students who live on-campus are required to enroll in either Unlimited, TU 15, TU 10, TU 7, or Kosher dining plan.
Petitions are considered by the Dining Plan Petition Committee only for a well-documented extraordinary circumstance, meaning a medical, religious, or financial reason that Tulane University or Tulane University Dining Services cannot reasonably manage.
A student making a request to be released from the dining plan is asking for an exception. An approval of the petition is not automatic. Approved dining plan petitions are generally effective for the full academic year and must be resubmitted before the beginning of the fall semester each year unless otherwise specified by the Dining Plan Petition Committee. All information submitted is confidential but may be reviewed by the committee members and authorized university representative(s).
Access Request for My Zone in the Dining Room at the Commons
My Zone is a self-service pantry in the Dining Room at the Commons where food items needed by customers with celiac disease or food allergies can be housed with precautions against cross-contamination. You must have pre-approved Splash Card access to enter My Zone. To apply for access, you will need to upload medical documentation in accordance to Dining Services guidelines for documentation and complete the survey. Once your survey is received, the Dining Plan Petition committee will review your request for access and approve for appropriate diagnosed dietary needs. Before access is added to students Splash Card, students must watch the training video and sign the My Zone contract.
Tulane University Dining Services has a long history of adequately serving students with allergies to gluten, wheat, soy, shellfish, dairy, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts (including nut oils) as well as accommodating vegetarian and vegan dietary preferences. For this reason, petition for release from the dining plan is not typically warranted. Please visit the Meet the Dietitian page for more information about special dietary needs and Simplified. If you believce your diet cannot be adequately managed through Dining Services after reviewing this information, please submit a dining plan petition and a meeting with a Tulane University Dining Services representation (including the Campus Dietitian and/or Executive Chef) will be arranged. The petition process requires Tulane University Dining Services to provide a written recommendation to the Dining Plan Petition Committee regarding how your dietary restrictions can or cannot be managed after meeting with you and considering the medical documentation provided.
Tulane University Dining Services can meet religious dietary restrictions that require following a plant-based diet. The Dining Room at the Commons offers vegan and vegetarian options throughout the dining room. Tulane University Dining Services also offers a Kosher dining plan. If you feel that Tulane Dining Services is unable to manage the dietary practices you observe, please submit a Dining Plan Petition.
An allowance for food expenses adequate to cover the required average dining plan cost is calculated into a student’s financial aid cost of attendance, and full resources (for eligible students and/or parents) to cover every aspect of the student’s expected costs are available. The Financial Aid Office cannot support a student’s request to be released from the dining plan requirement due to their paying additional food costs, receiving food from a source which does not require payment, or perception that the cost of the dining plan is too high.
Please review financial application steps on the Financial Aid Office website, and/or contact your assigned Financial Aid Counselor to inquire how you may apply for additional financial aid (in the form of gift, loan, and/or work aid).
If you are experiencing an unplanned extreme financial circumstance and you wish for the Dining Plan Petition Committee to review your situation, please submit a Dining Plan Petition.
Option 1: Goldman Center for Student Accessibility
If you believe your condition may qualify as a disability warranting an accommodation, please proceed with requesting a dining plan accommodation through the Goldman Center for Student Accessibility.
a. Visit https://accessibility.tulane.edu and scroll to "Apply for Accommodations" to complete an Accommodation Request form.
b. You will receive an e-mail confirmation with an upload link for uploading supporting documentation of your disability.
c. The Goldman Center will contact you to set up a meeting to discuss your request.
d. If approved, accommodation information will be forwarded to Dining Services.
Option 2: Dining Plan Petition Process
If you do not believe that your condition rises to the level of disability, but you do not feel that Dining Services can adequately manage your needs on a standard dining plan in the Dining Room at the Commons, please follow the steps below.
Step 1: Review the dining plan petition information and gather the required documentation described below.
You need to have the following documents available to upload based on the reason for your petition:
1. Medical Dining Plan Petition Forms which consist of the following:
a) The Healthcare Provider Assessment Form which should be completed in compliance with the Dining Plan Petition Guidelines for Documentation. Students and physicians should avoid making requests for release based on conscious choice or medically unsubstantiated beliefs (i.e., Tulane University Dining Services food is unhealthy or too high in fat, the student is a vegetarian, food disagrees with them, or food is not organic).
b) Consent to Verbal-Intra University and sharing of conditional health information, fill out and upload with your Dining Plan Petition. Releases are made solely on the basis of documented health conditions and prescription for special diets that cannot be managed by Tulane University Dining Services.
1. Documentation demonstrating proof of practice.
Step 2: Students only, complete the dining plan petition.
Petitions will not be reviewed until all documentation is received by the Dining Plan Petition Committee. Incomplete forms may delay your case and reduce any potential refund if your petition is approved. Refunds will be determined by daily proration and the date your petition receives a final decision.
Step 3: If you are contacted by a Tulane University Dining Services representative, you must meet with them before your petition is reviewed.
Step 4: Notifications are sent to the student’s Tulane University email account approximately 3 weeks after all petition materials have been submitted and a meeting with Tulane University Dining Services has been attended.
Once your petition is submitted, all supporting documentation received, and requested meetings are attended, it will be reviewed by the Dining Plan Petition Committee.
• Petitions submitted for medical reasons will require an in person meeting with a Tulane University Dining Services representative and will be reviewed by Dining Plan Petition Committee members from the following departments: Student Health Center and Tulane University Dining Services.
• Petitions submitted for religious reasons will be reviewed by Dining Plan Petition Committee members from the following departments: Tulane University Dining Services, Office of Institutional Equity, Office of Multicultural Affairs and Student Resources and Support Services.
• Petitions submitted for financial reasons will be reviewed by Dining Plan Petition Committee members from the following departments: Office of Financial Aid and Student Resources and Support Services.
When necessary, the Dining Plan Petition Committee may consult with other Tulane University Offices including Housing and Residence Life or other appropriate university personnel.
The student will be contacted regarding the committee’s decision via email to their Tulane University email address.
You will need to submit a new petition each academic year and provide updated documentation unless your exemption or exception is based on an on-going need related to a qualifying disability.