Frequently Asked Questions

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Fall 2020 Dining

When is the end of the Fall 2020 semester, and when do locations close? new
  • The fall 2020 semester ends Friday, December 11, 2020.
  • All resident and off-campus student meal plans expire at the end of last day of the semester.
  • Unused meals and Dining Dollars associated with a Huskie Block plan will be forfeited.
  • Unused funds from a Dining Dollars only plan will rollover to the spring 2021 semester.
  • Hours for the last day of the fall 2020 semester:
    • Neptune and New Hall Dining will close at 2 p.m..
    • Stevenson Retail Dining will close at 2 p.m.
    • Caribou Coffee & Einstein Bros. Bagels will operate normal hours.
    • QDOBA Mexican Eats will close at 5 p.m.
    • Starbucks will close at 3 p.m.
    • The Depot C-Store will close for the semester Thursday, December 10, 2020.
    • The Grill at Huskie Den closed for the semester Tuesday, November 24, 2020.
  • Utilize the Where to Eat webpage for up-to-date hours of operation for all Campus Dining locations.
What locations are open and what is closed?

Residential dining operations remaining open fall 2020:

  • Neptune Dining
  • New Hall Dining
  • Stevenson Retail Dining

Retail dining operations remaining open fall 2020:

  • Holmes Student Center including: Depot C-Store, Grill at Huskie Den, Starbucks, and QDOBA
  • Founders Memorial Library: Caribou Coffee & Einstein Bros. Bagels

Use Where to Eat for up-to-date hours of operation for all Campus Dining locations.

How are you keeping dining halls safe?
  • Residential dining locations' service will be carry out only.
  • All customers must wear face coverings to enter.
  • All employees will wear face coverings.
  • Emphasis will be placed on speed of service to prevent a congregation of customers.
  • Coming soon! - Expansion of mobile ordering via Grubhub in retail dining locations to limit the interaction between customer and cashier.
  • Employees will constantly wipe down high-traffic or high-touch areas.
  • Self-service stations will be eliminated.
Why can’t I purchase the Huskie Classic plan this fall? The Huskie Classic Plan is unavailable this fall because unlimited access does not provide physical distancing. Students who wanted that plan will receive Block 19, which provides 19 all-you-can-eat meals per week.

Top Questions

Am I required to have a meal plan?

All residence hall students are required to have a meal plan as part of residence hall living. Students that live off-campus or commute may also sign up for a meal plan.

For more information, see Meal Plans.

How do I pay for my meal plan?

All meal plan selections are billed to the student's Bursar account, regardless if the student is living in the residence halls, or off-campus. For faculty & staff, meal plan selections are payable through payroll deduction, or online credit card payment.

What are the meal plan choices? We have options for students living in the residence halls, commuter students and faculty & staff. Learn about Meal Plans that fit your needs.
Where can I eat? Updated

Huskie Block Plans, Dining Dollars, Huskie Bucks, and debit/credit cards allow you to eat at all Campus Dining locations. Our operations are grouped by residential or retail, your choice.

Enjoy carryout from our residential dining operations Neptune Dining and New Hall Dining. We also have several retail dining locations including Stevenson Towers, Founders Memorial Library, and Holmes Student Center offering meals packaged for takeout.

Check out Where to Eat for a complete list of our operations and their hours.

I have a special diet. Where can I eat?

We offer a variety of menu items to accommodate most special diet needs. If you have dietary restrictions or food allergies and would like some help navigating our dining locations, please contact our nutrition and allergy support staff located in Neptune Central 225 by phone at 815-753-9556 or by email at resnutrition@niu.edu. Our staff will be glad to meet with you to discuss your dietary needs and provide guidance. If you require a special diet you should contact Health Services for help in securing accommodations.

What's the difference between Dining Dollars and Huskie Bucks? Dining Dollars is the new name for Flex Dollars in an attempt to alleviate any confusion the previous name may have caused. Dining Dollars can be used to purchase items from any Campus Dining Services operated location. There are different types of Dining Dollars depending on how the funds were added. Dining Dollars can be included with a meal plan selection, be added to accompany a meal plan, or purchased separately as a standalone off-campus meal plan.
  1. Residential Students: Dining Dollars associated with the Residential Block meal plans are noted as Dining Dollars Res. These funds are allocated once and remaining balances at the end of the semester will also be forfeited.
  2. Off-Campus Students: Dining Dollars associated with the Off-Campus Block meal plans are noted as Dining Dollars OC. These funds are allocated once and remaining balances at the end of the semester will also be forfeited.
  3. All Students: Dining Dollars associated with the Dining Dollars Level plans are noted as Dining Dollars Add. Allocation of funds happen at the start of the semester or within one (1) business day after purchasing. Dollars expire at the end of the academic year so any unused at the end of Fall semester will rollover to Spring. Any unused dollars at the end of the Spring semester will be forfeited.

Huskie Bucks are separate from your dining meal plan. Your Huskie Bucks account is a pre-paid debit account that can be used anywhere on campus to purchase meals as well as various services like laundry and copying/printing. Huskie Bucks can also be used at many local restaurants.

For more information, see  Meal Plans and  Huskie Bucks.

When will meal service begin?

Some dining locations are open before classes start. On-campus students will be able to use plans starting on move-in day. See Where to Eat for the latest dining schedules.

Meal Plans begin August 21  at lunch.

Can I change my meal plan?

If you would like to change or cancel your meal plan, please send an email from your student Z-ID email account to housing@niu.edu and dining@niu.edu.

Deadlines to Change a Plan

  1. If you added your meal plan before the semester started, you have ten business days from the start of the semester to upgrade, downgrade or cancel your meal plan. After those ten business days, you can still upgrade or refill, but you can't cancel or downgrade your plan.
  2. If you added your meal plan on or after the first day of the semester, you have ten business days from the date you added your plan to upgrade, downgrade or cancel it. After those ten days have passed, you may still upgrade or refill, but you can't cancel or downgrade your plan.
How do I get Dining Dollars?

Students that choose a Huskie Block Plan have Dining Dollars included as part of their meal plan selection. Residence Students on a Block Plan will receive 100 Dining Dollars at the beginning of the semester. Non-Residential Students receive 300 Dining Dollars with their Huskie Block Plans.

Regardless of residential or non-residential, you are able to purchase Dining Dollars separately to supplement additional meals in À la Carte retail dining locations.

Non-Residential Students whom do not select any other meal plan still have the option to purchase Dining Dollars as a standalone meal plan.


For more information, see  Meal Plans and  Huskie Bucks.

Add Dining Dollars

When does my meal plan reset or expire? NEW

Resident Student meal plans: weekly meal plan swipes reset every Sunday morning/Saturday night at 12:00 am. The 100 Dining Dollars included with your plan expire at the end of the semester.

Off-Campus Student meal plans: meal plans swipes and the 300 Dining Dollars included with your plan both expire at the end of the semester.

Dining Dollars ONLY plans: Dining Dollars purchased separately from a meal plan expire at the end of the academic year. Level plans purchased during the fall semester will rollover remaining balances to the spring semester, but will not rollover past the spring semester.

How many meal swipes and meal exchanges can I use? NEW

All meal plans have a 5 meals per day limit. This limit is applied to all Campus Dining locations across campus.

Meal exchange is using your meal swipe to purchase a combination of items from one of our retail dining locations. The daily and/or weekly limits apply regardless if you use your meal swipe for meal exchange or at Neptune or New Hall Dining.

What is Meal Exchange? Updated

Meal Exchange offers the ability for Huskie Block plans to choose dining options from a retail dining center to use one of your meal swipes for a combination of items like a sandwich, chips, and a drink. Locations offering meal exchange will list what items are eligible to be combined for one meal swipe.

Meal exchange is offered all day at Stevenson Retail Dining and Caribou Coffee & Einstein Bros. Bagels.

In Holmes Student Center locations, meal exchange is offered after 1:00 pm. HSC locations include Qdoba, Depot C-Store and Grill at Huskie Den.

Can I check my meal plan balance? Updated

Wondering how many meals you have left today, this week, this semester?

You can use eAccounts to view your current meal plan balance, Dining Dollars balance, even Huskie Bucks balance.
 

Check your meal plan balance


  Optionally use the web based system above, or you can use the Transact eAccounts mobile app.

If I lose my OneCard, how do I suspend privileges to it?

Residence hall students have the option of getting a temporary meal plan card by visiting any of the residential dining center offices. This temporary card suspends your lost OneCard so that it cannot be misused and then it will allow you to access your Huskie Bucks or Meal Plan. If you lose your OneCard outside of residential dining's regular business hours, you may suspend your OneCard online.

Learn more about reporting a lost or stolen OneCard.

Does Campus Dining Services offer event catering?

Yes, we offer breakfast, lunch and dinner catering for events on campus including seminars, camps and weddings. Due to COVID-19 catering options are limited and will follow the guidance provided by the Illinois Department of Public HealthLearn more about catering.


Didn't find your answer here? Ask us a question.

Campus Dining Services
dining@niu.edu

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