By Tania Bureau Contributing Writer
Two of the residential meal plans students bought this year have a fixed number of meal swipes that they can use in addition to a declining balance points to use for the semester. Meal swipes for the dining hall now end every week and some students feel their money is at risk.
“Last year, the residential meal plans offered were block meal plans,” said Kelsey Champagne-Smith, who is part of Student Life, in an email. The weekly meal plans now run from Saturday to Friday each week.
For the students who have the 10 meals a week or 14 meals a week plan, every time they swipe their cards, either in the South Dining Hall or the Beaver Lodge for meal equivalent, it will take off one of the meals they have for the week.
“I don’t understand why they are doing it,” said Autumn Young, a junior at UMF. “I have 10 meals a week and if they don’t carry over I don’t use them. No point in me paying for them.”
“If students run out of meals before Saturday, they are able to use points or pay with cash in the dining hall. On these meal plans, meals do not roll over from one week to the next,” said Champagne-Smith.
When Young ran out of swipes at the end of the semester she was forced to start using her points. “I’m paying money to have a certain amount of swipes,” said Young, who now feels that the meal plan she has is a “ waste of my money.”
Abby Sanborn is a sophomore Creative Writing major at UMF. “I never end up using all my meal swipes,” said Sanborn, “maybe I will use eight.”
“I’m just losing them,” said Sanborn, who also feels that she is wasting her money. When going to the dining hall, Sanborn feels that she has to pay extra attention to how much she swipes her card. “It is a lot of pressure,” said Sanborn.
In the past there was a trend of students who would run out of meal swipes, some by the middle of the semester, so the meal plan this year was changed to weekly meals instead of yearly.
Sanborn thinks the meal plans should allow for unused meals to transfer over to the next week, so students aren’t pressured and don’t feel as though they are wasting money. “I would like it to transfer over so I’m not wasting money,” said Sanborn.
Young believes that everyone should get the unlimited amount of swipes. The unlimited meal plan, also called the all-access meal plan, allows students to eat whenever they want, at any time in the south dining hall. This plan is also the most expensive meal plan.
“Meal plans can be changed, with the exception of first-year students, during the first two weeks of the fall and spring semester,” said Champagne-Smith.