I’ve never considered myself an active student of the University.
I have numerous issues with the institution, but I didn’t care enough to voice my complaints. That changed, however, when I experienced the Unlimited meal plan for the first time.
I chose to live on the Residential Quadrangle because the rooms are close to classes. I sat back while the school forced me into a more expensive meal plan that I didn’t need. I never used up my clubs or declining blanace, but at least I could get a wide variety of food as frequently as I desired.
The Commons and Douglass Dining Center had consistent selections with a few favorites that I could rely on. And with the club system, I could have those favorites when I pleased.
The Unlimited plan has eliminated all the good aspects of the club system. I discovered early on that the so-called “Unlimited plan” should have a giant asterisk next to it.
I got my regular club-approved meal at Panda Express, but was shocked to see $7 deducted from my declining balance. It is completely unacceptable that the Unlimited plans exclude the most popular and accessible dining location on River Campus. The Commons also provides meals that are easily transported — say for students wanting to take a meal to class, library, or back to their residences.
The cheapest meal plan I could get was the $2,385 Blue Unlimited. Of that, only $350 is for declining. Declining is the only method of meal plan payment at the Commons, the P.O.D. market, the Meliora and Connections — to name a few. I doubt the $350 will cover these expenses, especially now that I’ll need to pay for the Pit in full. I cannot believe I have to fork over $2,000 for the privilege of eating in Danforth and Douglass.
I am willing to swallow all the above complaints, but the dining hours at Douglass are still limited. Sure, it is now open in the morning, but by 8 p.m., it is closed.
To add insult to injury, Douglass is still closed on the weekend, meaning if I want to exercise my Unlimited, I’ll need to head to Danforth. When the weather gets colder and snow starts to fall, I probably won’t bother to make the trip, opting for the Commons or dorm room cooking.
I didn’t write this as a rant. I actually sent this to the SA officials, deans and dining staff. I have spoken to a few of my friends who share my opinion, but I want to reach a broader group of students.
I implore those who oppose the dining plan to contact Cam Schauf, Director of Campus Dining Services & Auxiliary Operations to share your feelings with those who can affect change.
Hyman is a member of the class of 2012.