Perks vs. disadvantages of having a meal plan

Tyler Moseberry, Courier Staff

Most of us have to live on campus, and because we live on campus, we are required to have a meal plan. The meal plan gives students a set amount of money on their university ID card for each semester. The money on the card can be used around campus, and this includes the C-store, University Union and dining halls. The dining halls have a rotating schedule of food that can be checked online, and each dining hall has stations or days specific to that hall.

The meal plan has become convenient for many students as the food is close, although there are still things that could be improved with the meal plan. Whether it is in the dorms or the Union, all of the food options are accessible for students. In the Union, Burger King is a last-ditch option for most since the addition of Chick-Fil-A. Einsteins also does well in the Union with a long line of hungry students. After all, the swiping monitoring your meal plan is comfortable with the posters and cards located all around campus and online for students.

After the Union, the variety on campus is zilch. After spending a month or so on campus, the food gets repetitive and unhealthy. The hard part of eating the healthy options are even fewer selections than the unhealthy ones. The healthy options are poor in seasoning and flavor, which deters students from eating healthy altogether.

The meal plan used in the C-store can be very convenient for students without vehicles that need hygienic items or miscellaneous things. Even some medicines can be found in the C-store, which can save someone a Walmart run when they may be feeling under the weather.

Time is of the essence when you are in college, and time management is something that we hear associated with college quite often. Unfortunately, as meal plan holders, we are also timed and told when we can eat. Since most of the staff in the dining halls and the Union are other students, there is a time constraint on how long they can work.

With those time constraints, we end up having less time for students to get food or just the food they intended to get. Regardless, after spending time in the dorms, in class, running errands or at work, it is nice to be able to decide what you want to eat when you want to eat. More options could be given, or time could be extended just as Burger King continues their hours.

Even after you spend your money on food and items in the C-store, you may have extra cash on your meal plan. This extra money can be refunded but only certain amount, which is ridiculous. This means you have to spend money on things you would not typically get or give the school the money. Something as trivial as this can easily be changed, and if any or all of these changes were made, we would have a better meal plan experience.