New on-campus dining changes should not be implemented

Haley Schmidt, Opinions Columnist

With the upcoming dining changes for the 2019-2020 school year, students may feel it is an outrage that policies are changing so drastically.

A majority of issues come with the changes regarding the ability to swipe others using via meal swipes, as it has become common on campus for students to exchange swipes amongst one another. But important aspects of the new meal plans are being ignored, specifically the rights that are given up in order to make these “positive” changes.

Every student living on campus is required to purchase a meal plan for every semester they reside on campus. Meal plans vary from $1,295 for 120 swipes per semester all the way to $2,055 for unlimited meal swipes, although “unlimited” is restricted to twice a day usage versus lower plans, which allow someone to eat either once a day, or 1-3 times a week.

Limitations can be extremely problematic, given incoming students may not know exactly how many swipes they will need as a freshman or which plan will best fit their needs. This leads to leftover swipes that end up a waste of money for first semester students. A solution to this dilemma is enacting “rollovers” students can use in for the coming semester.

These rollover swipes cannot be used unless another meal plan is purchased for the following semester. Additionally, the rollovers can only be used after having exhausted the second meal plan swipes. Students should not be restricted from using already purchased meal swipes unless they choose to pay for more.

It seems students might never even be able to use all of the swipes they pay for. With each swipe an equivalent to $6 or more, money can add up fast, costing anywhere between $300 to 600 worth of food that might never get used. Instead of this waste, students should have the opportunity to swipe friends or anyone they choose, for food so someone will get to eat regardless.

Campus dining officials noticed the trend of individuals swiping for one other and felt it the swipe policy was being abused. They cracked down on this practice so now Texas State is trying to keep the extra money for themselves and dictate what students should spend their money on.

In addition to the sky-high cost of tuition, students will now pay extra for the food they may not even eat and lack control of who gets to eat what they pay for.

The dining options available to students are facing more restriction as well. Students preferring to eat at Chick-Fil-A, Panda Express, Papa Johns or other chains can now eat at these locations using a “meal equivalency,” meaning they can spend up to the $6 only. If students wish to use swipes instead of meal equivalency, they are tightly limited to eating at Commons or Harris dining halls.

If nothing else, there needs to be a system for leftover swipes so the money spent is not completely wasted. At the bare minimum, students should be allowed to share their meal plan with whoever they choose, as some students are in financial need and an extra swipe can be a lifesaver.

This needless cash grab by the university should not sit well with students. Individuals should have the right to swipe when they want, who they want and buy what they want. This policy change has been for the worse and needs severe alteration before implementation.

Haley Schmidt is an English junior

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