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The Student News Site of Buena Vista University

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The Student News Site of Buena Vista University

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BVTV News (April 23, 2024)
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May 24, 2024
Broken branches, broken legacy
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May 16, 2024
Joan Curbow: The ultimate Beaver
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Why it’s irritating: Restricting meal plans

Why+its+irritating%3A+Restricting+meal+plans

Alexis Williams | Social Media Manager

Hello again! Are you all getting irritated with me being irritated? Well, hopefully not because here comes yet another article.

This week I am talking about meal plans.

While I could go on and on about the items that I would love to see in the server (i.e. more steak, fresher fruit and veggies, and more organic foods), I will refrain and rather discuss how I would like our current system for meal plans to change.

Just to make sure everyone is on the same page, there are currently three options for full-time, on-campus, Storm Lake students. Students have the option to choose from the Marquee plan, a 14-meal plan, and a 10-meal plan. Each varies very little in price. However, the biggest fact to note is that when choosing the 14 or 10 meal plans, these meals are on a per week basis only. Meaning, the week of fall break you have 10 meals, and a typical full week you have 10 meals. These meals do not carry over.

I personally use the 14-meal plan because I rarely eat all three meals, every single day, in the serve. My problem with my meal plan can be summarized in one scenario.

Have you ever made reservations at a restaurant, then decided not to show up but still paid for your meal?

No? That’s what I thought. That scenario seems ridiculous, doesn’t it? The same mindset applies to those of us who use these “lowered” meal plans. I am consistently paying for meals that I do not eat. Not including the days I go down and pay for my meal, find nothing, and proceed to La Jua’s or Little Vientiane instead.

My suggestion? I have two.

The first suggestion is using Beaver Bucks; with the use of Beaver Bucks students would be given the option to purchase X amount of Beaver Bucks which would equal approximately X amount of meals per week. The serve would have a set “student meal price” that might be $5.00 each time you go. If you do not use all of your Beaver Bucks at the end of the semester via the serve, bookstore, or coffee shop than these extra funds would be rolled over into your next semester’s, or next year’s balance. However, once Beaver Bucks are purchased, they would not be redeemable for cash—meaning you cannot be refunded. This would encourage students to only pay for what they plan on using and would also encourage them to continue to add money the more they use them because they would get a discounted price on meals (the “student price”) instead of paying the typical cost for general community members to eat.

The second option is to keep the current plans as-is but make it a semester-based meal plan rather than a week-based meal plan. This would allow students to use their meals and choose their plans based on their anticipated time spent on campus, or eating in the dining hall. While this would not be a huge change, it might make a world of difference for those students who either prefer cooking but choose not to because they have already “purchased” their meals, or also for those students who are often gone with work or travel that prohibits their ability to eat at the serve as much as the average student.

Overall, I like the idea of being able to choose your ideal meal plan, but I also think that it could be done in a different way to better benefit our students here on campus. These options would also provide a way for commuter students to receive meal plans—an option that is currently not available to them.

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