Opinion

New Meal Plan is a Limited Meal

Charlie Lehmer
Staff Writer

Coming back to Goucher is always an exciting experience, especially re-discovering our favorite foods and their combinations.
It all does get old by the end, especially the fried Stimson smell which clings to all your clothes, but I have to say that Goucher food is dang tasty.
The best part has been that even when you do get tired of one type of food, there’s always another source from which to choose.
Unfortunately, everything is going to be different this year with the introduction of Goucher’s new meal plan.
Supposedly, the shifts were made for our benefit; however, it’s difficult for me to see the positive aspects of the meal plan changes.
For Heubeck and Stimson lovers, the meal change isn’t much of a problem– but for those of us who live on the go and spend our time at The Passport Café and Alice’s Restaurant, this is going to be a difficult year.
Why?
Because meal swipes–block meals–are no longer accepted outside of the central dining halls. Though we did receive an increase in dining dollars, if you’re like me and live at The Passport Café, those dining dollars are going to disappear fast.
Increasing dining dollars was a step in the right direction, as it gives students the option to buy more “snack items” while saving their meal swipes.
At first, the new plan even excited me, as I was always one of those people who ran out of flex dollars within the first month. Yet, the problem with the new meal plan isn’t with the dining dollars. Rather, it’s that our meal swipes are now restricted to Heubeck and Stimson.
If this meal plan change was indeed instigated to benefit the students, then what could possibly be the reason for taking away the ability to use meal swipes at Alice’s Restaurant and The Passport Café? I understand that using a meal swipe to buy a bagel is a bit of a waste, considering the bagel costs about $2 and the meal swipe is worth around $11.50, but we should still be given the option to make that choice. If we want to overspend, we should be allowed to do so.
What is the downside of allowing us to use our meal swipes wherever we want?
When we “overspend” on snacks, the only people it hurts are the students. In fact, this would benefit Bon Appétit, making it a win-win situation… Full-access meal swipes would mean that we get the food we want and Bon Appétit still makes the profits they need. Limiting our meal swipes only hurts business and limits our dietary options.
As it stands, for those who frequent The Passport Café and Alice’s Restaurant, the basic meal plan–with 300 dining dollars–will run out of dining dollars in early November. As a Passport Café addict myself, this depresses me. A lot.
To all of those of you out there who are like me and live off of a midnight snack at Alice’s Restaurant and a nice fat burrito from The Passport Café…well hang in there, because it’s going to be rough.

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