A buffet style fruit bar at West Side Dining. Although Stony Brook is in the process of selecting a new food provider, FSA has announced that West and East Side Dining will continue to use the swipe system. ARACELY JIMENEZ/THE STATESMAN

The search for Stony Brook’s new food service provider has entered its final stages, with the long-anticipated decision set to be announced early next month.

“The Faculty Student Association is excited to bring students a dining program which offers a varied selection of meal plans and food service offerings to serve the broad range of dietary needs and preferences of our diverse student body,” Nadeem Siddiqui, executive director of FSA, said.

In response to resounding negative feedback collected regarding the quality of campus dining in January, FSA assembled the Bid Review Group, a coalition of students and faculty tasked with evaluating proposals from potential food service providers.

The main contenders up for consideration against the current provider Sodexo, are Aramark, a large international corporation based in Philadelphia, and CulinArt, a smaller company operating exclusively in the United States at 250 locations.

In addition to the three main providers, several smaller vendors have expressed interest in working with either Sodexo, Aramark or CulinArt to set up individual retail kiosks.

Whichever service provider is chosen will sign a five year contract with the university.

According to FSA Director of Marketing and Communications Angela Agnello, East Side and West Side Dining will continue to use the swipe-in system. There’s no official word yet on whether Roth dining will use this method or revert back to a retail system, where diners pay per item.

Students should expect to pay slightly more for their meal plans in the upcoming academic year. Currently, the cheapest option, which allots students $1,475 in dining dollars, costs $2,050. However next year, the minimum amount of dining dollars will be raised to $1,575 a $100 price increase. The current most expensive plan, which cost $2,900, gives students unlimited swipes and $500 in dining dollars. Next year, this plan will cost $72 more and will give students six guest swipes.

This is not the first time Stony Brook’s dining system has been overhauled. Various major changes were made at the start of the fall semester, including the implementation of meal swipes, which came as a response to students’ complaints.

“They were unhappy with the retail prices being paid at the register every day, as well [as] not having enough meal points to last until the end of the semester,” Agnello stated in an email.

The announcement pertaining to Stony Brook’s new service provider is expected to be made within the first few weeks of May.