Put your money where your mouth is: students have opinions on meal periods

Darvin Nelson, General Assignment Reporter

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Restrictions on the meal plan has given first-year students some strong opinions. The Meal Plan has what is called “meal periods” which allows students to eat once between each period. 

“On most meal plans, only one meal per meal period may be used, except for the all-access plans, which allow for unrestricted access during the hours the main dining facility is open,” said the University. 

The meal time periods are as shown:

Period A: 7 a.m. – 10:44 a.m.

Period B: 10:45 a.m. – 3:44 p.m.

Period C: 3:45 p.m. – 7:59 p.m.

Period D: 8 p.m. – 3 a.m.

Period C is almost 5 hours long and Period D is 7 hours long. Students with meal plans cannot use a meal swipe more than once in these long periods.

The University says that, “this ensures that students will have enough meals to get through the term and that meals are only being used by the student who purchased the membership. If students want to share meals with others or eat more than one meal per meal period, Dining Dollars or Ozzie Bucks can be used by anyone at any time.”

Students with meal plans are questioning these periods as to why they exist and some have quite a few things to say about it:

“The periods should all be equal length. None of them should be longer than others. I think it’s overpriced considering how much we have to pay for everything else,” said Sam Peskoff, a first-year Communications major.

Sara Stom, a Psychology major says, “I’m almost never able to use all meals because of the time restrictions. Sometimes I end up having four at the end of the week because of work, or just being off campus, and the times restricting my ability to use them.”

“Why am I paying people to decide when I get to spend my money and when I can eat?” said Alan Simons, a first-year International Business major.

First-year Bio-medicine major, Alondra Ortiz says, “Period restrictions are absolutely annoying. Sometimes when I want a snack around midnight, my card declines because I used the 8 p.m. one. It has happened to a lot of students and it’s frustrating because most of us rely on the meal plan and don’t have a steady income to buy snacks or groceries. Another thing is, why is it so expensive? We are college students who are deep in debt and they are charging us snacks for over 2 dollars that we can get for cheaper at Walmart. This restricts us from taking advantage of our meal plan.”

Lastly, Junior Ashely Planco, a Deaf Education Major, says, “We should be able to use our own meals whenever we want; no ‘meal periods’”

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