From what I’ve gathered, students have several specific complaints about the dining services on campus. Every student wants to see greater quality and selection in the food they receive.
Freshmen and sophomores have displayed anger with the fact that they are required to have a meal plan for all four years of college.
They are upset with the restrictiveness of the club options they are tied into, both the items they can purchase with a club and the limits on when they can use their club options.
These issues are actually linked to one another, and any discussion of one of them must include the others. The university has made a commitment to require students to have a meal plan for all four years because it gives them the financial support to improve both the quality and selection of food on campus.
If people want to see a diversity of food options at the dining halls, then they need understand that those things are impossible unless there is enough money in the system. For this to be a mutually beneficial deal though, students must actually see improvements in the food being served on campus. Tangible benefits must emerge, with increased selection and higher quality food throughout campus.
It is our role as students to push for as much flexibility for students as possible within the system. It is outrageous that the students who are being required to make the initial investment to improve the quality of dining on campus are also the ones subject to the worst restrictiveness in the system.
While juniors and seniors can use their declining balance for any item at any time at any dining location, those freshmen who are already told they must have large club plans are subject to rules regarding which specific items they can purchase at the different locations on campus. Our student union, Wilson Commons, must be open to all students during lunch, regardless of class year. It is simply unfair toward those students who are being told they need to bear the costs of the changes.
The administrators responsible for dining issues have been extremely receptive to student opinion, and are genuinely working to improve the quality of the dining experience on campus.
While clearly a lot of students are unhappy about the requirements for meal plans, it’s time to accept these changes and move on.
There are problems that need to be addressed, I’ve outlined some in this piece, and I will continue to work towards more flexibility within the basic framework of the system.
Anyone looking to join me in working on these issues should contact me, and hopefully we’ll continue to see improvements in the university’s dining services.
Nabozny can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.