EDITORIAL: Should students have to pay for a meal plan?

Many students who chose to live on campus for more than one year have come to enjoy the luxury of being able to roll out of bed five minutes before class and bolt across campus. However, for some, on-campus living can be burdensome. Aside from 4 a.m. fire alarms and mildew-infested rooms, some students dread parting with $1,500 to $3,400 for the meal plan that is required for students living in the dorms.
It is bad enough to have to sometimes swat away flies and other crawling critters to protect your food, or hold your breath to avoid unusual smells, or even risk your health-but being required to do so is probably the worst part.

Some students have tried, by any means necessary, to avoid this requirement. However, you are better off grinding your teeth, swallowing the some of the semi-decent looking food, or wasting a few meals by not going altogether. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad students could trade-in for more dining dollars to pay for other high-priced, and often low-quality, food at other places on campus.

According to Mel Tenen, the Director of Dining and Vending Services, more than 4,000 students a year express their satisfaction with Chartwells through surveys. He also says that mandating a meal plan for students that live in the dorms is the norm at most universities.

However, not all students at the other universities are also so fortunate to have our infamous tuition bill each semester that does not even include outside expenses such as the cost of books or other personal expenses. So the answer seems simple-waste more money cooking your own meals, move out of the dorms, fight other students to move into the apartments, or go to another school altogether. If some students didn’t enjoy dorm life, somewhat the answer would be that simple.

Despite the requirement, maybe schools are concerned about our hunger needs-even if we are still starving with a meal plan-and are not just trying to line their pockets.

October 3, 2003


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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