Written by: Øystein Fjeldberg
This fall Wingate University implemented a new system for meal plans. The All Access plan provides students with virtually unlimited meals over the course of the semester. There are some limits, but they do little to inhibit the students needs. Students have 999 meals that they can spend over the course of the semester, or an average of 62 meals a week.
At least 15 minutes has to pass between each meal, which means that a student can’t go to the Klondike and get six meals at once as an example. As a result, it is nearly impossible to run out of meals. Then why are some students complaining?
Up until last semester, students had a default option of 19 non-transferable meals a week that could be used at the school’s cafeteria or at the Klondike. Students had the option to switch over to a meal plan with fewer meals a week in return for more Bulldog Bucks (the school’s currency that can be used to buy food at campus restaurants such as Subway, Einstein Bros Bagels, and Pizza Hut).
With the All Access plan, however, this is no longer an option. Students that prefer getting their meals outside of the cafeteria and Klondike are left with a ton of meals that they will never use.
Student-athletes are perhaps those who have benefitted from the change the most. An unlimited supply of meals is an advantage for them, as they won’t have to worry about running out of meals prematurely in between practices and competitions. Wingate University is attended by many student-athletes compared to its small student population, and thus it makes sense to have a meal plan catered to this group.
As of November 12, Leif-Henning Klüver, a member of the men’s swimming team, had already spent 282 meals, which means that he has averaged 24 meals a week since the beginning of the semester. In other words, he has used more meals than there has been separate meals at the cafeteria.
It is not just athletes, however, that embrace the liberty provided by the new meal plan. “I won’t have to worry about when I go to the cafeteria during the week,” said student Johnny Rivera showing his support for the new meal plan . If he comes to the cafeteria and realizes that he is not that hungry, he can eat a quick meal, and then return later if he chooses to.
Even though there are benefits to the new meal plan it has left some students unhappy coming at the cost of their ability to choose alternative options for food. Maybe the best course of action would be to re-implement the possibility of choosing alternative meal plans, and leave the All Access Plan as one of the options for those who see it as beneficial to them.
Edited by: Danny Stueber and Meredith Lalor