Bring back 25 meals a semester

Without an affordable payment plan, many students might stay away from dinning halls.

by Connor Nikolic

As an off-campus student last year, I knew I would have the occasional urge to break for lunch at the dining halls. With this in mind, I visited the University Dining Services’ website, looking for their bare minimum meal plan option. I found a reasonably priced, 25-meals-per-semester option and went with it.

Although this plan worked for me, when I logged on to re-up this semester, I found that UDS had scrapped this meal plan, with 45 meals per semester as the new minimum. This plan comes with $100 FlexDine and is priced at $500, or about $175 more than my previous meal plan. That equates to about two or three meals each week.

While this isn’t a bad deal, it shouldn’t be the minimum option.

Since I will not be paying $500 for the aforementioned plan, I’ll probably make a greater effort to remember bag lunches, eat at reasonably priced restaurants near campus or use FlexDine for desperate situations.

And yet, I can’t help but wonder why UDS has removed this option. The dining service did not respond to my email questioning their decision, and I can’t think of a logical explanation as to why such a move would be beneficial, besides not enough students choosing this plan.

If UDS decides to go back to offering the 25 meals per semester option for spring 2015, I will gladly go back to that plan. Until that comes to pass, however, I see no reason for any off-campus student like me to sign up for a UDS meal plan.