Time for off-campus meal plan options

Allison Young , Opinions Editor

Am I the only person that is tired of only having a few select places to eat on campus? Do not get me wrong, there are some days that I really like some of the dining hall food; other days I am really craving food that is off campus. Imagine how nice it would be to use your student account off campus!

Several students refer to their ID as swipes because it is a lifeline on campus. Students use their ID’s for library books, dorm room keys, and most importantly their meal plans. Different dining halls offer several options for lunch and dinner everyday, but what about those days when you are so busy that you do not have the time to stop at the dining hall and it is already closed? This has been the case for me recently and I keep having to spend the money I earn, on food that is not on campus. It get’s very frustrating but it is the only option I have sometimes.

Some issues with this might be that the school loses out on money from people not eating in the dining hall. But I think a good solution to that problem would be to offer a meal plan that cost more money and allows those students who would be interested in this option to purchase it. We all chose what meal plan we want when we sign up anyway, so if there was a set amount of how much off campus money we could spend on our account it would be beneficial.

Now, I am not saying that every restaurant in the town of Macomb needs to have this option because I understand that some of them are small businesses and they would lose out on income. But chain restaurants such as McDonalds, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Jimmy Johns and Dunkin Donuts are bigger and make thousands of dollars a year. It would be worth the universities time to look into a partnership with some of these bigger restaurant chains for the benefit of their students. I know several bigger universities such as ISU, Mizzou, and University of Iowa have options like this. Granted, they have a higher enrollment than we do. But I do not think that it should matter. Several students would use their student ID’s off campus if it was an option.

Students at Western would be appreciative if their swipes were allowed to be used for off campus dining. I know that there would take some work to get all the kinks of this figured out, but doing it would add several more food options for students who do not prefer to always eat in the dining centers. And who doesn’t like to change it up every once in awhile?