Screw Flanders: Meal card policy unfair to students

Ahhh. No, that's not a sigh of relief because summer is here, it is a sigh that only came from expelling myself from dorm-life. I've already expressed my feelings about on-campus housing in a previous column with another columnist (Kevin). This summer, I have amputated my friend Kevin, but something tells me he'll be back. In any event, now with Kevin off the page, I am as a kid is without his or her parent or guardian. Since Kevin isn't here, it's playtime folks, I must mention my opposition to the meal cards.

Say I give a certain university some money to keep me alive during the school semester. As the average consumer, I expect all of my money to be returned to me in the form of food, as the average college student, I don't know what to expect. As it turns out, I am more the average college student and even more a gullible consumer. I usually fall for the dumbest sales pitches, which explains why I fell for the Premium Plan. Now every time I say those two words together I have an episode.

Does the University believe that we will spend exactly those set prices every time we eat? No, that's what dining plus is for. Well that makes sense, whenever I go over the set amount of breakfast, lunch, or dinner I have a stash of $50 to use. So, why do most of the students I know use all of their dining plus within the first half of the semester? Bad choices. Bad choices of which I never made in my time with meal cards. I see the $50 as a reserve, as the U.S. has Alaska and its oil. I had my meal card and its dining plus. But I'm not the one to George W. Bush my supply away. So, I usually ended up spending below the set price for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

My money then went to, well I guess it went to dining services. For all I know, a troll living underneath Benificence has my money. I never understood why they kept the change from every purchase I made with my meal card. They could have recycled it back into my dining plus where I could have used the money that was once at my fingertips.

For me to have used this money, I would have had to wake up every day before 10:30 and use the money for breakfast, come back and use it for lunch by 3:30, and be around at dinner before they closed. I would have had to be at BSU every weekend including some holidays to use the money I gave at the beginning of the year. Even if I was on campus I couldn't be too many places at once without losing some money. I don't mean to sound like I had something to do, because I didn't, I'm just saying I was weakly bound to the land. At least BSU is more lenient about its serfs, instead of beating us they just keep our money.

I am sure plenty of us have our gripes about the meal cards. As strange as it may seem, I am quite fond of BSU and do not want to see it or its students losing out. If anything, I would suggest that BSU's dining services (or whoever) revolutionize their meal plan model. There are plenty of universities with better systems (e.g. ISU).

To the student, it appears that this is another way for the university to take our money. Is it?


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