Unlimited meal plans go to waste, too costly

February 6, 2018

Joy Webb

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    “There is no way you will eat $12,000 worth of food in one school year.”

    This was the first comment my mom made about the cost of room and board at UCCS when she saw my bill. So far, I haven’t eaten even half of this amount.

     First-year students living on campus are required to have a meal plan in their room/board package price, according to Residence Life and Housing. Students living in any of the on-campus housing facilities will be given the Anytime, Unlimited Meal Plan, which allows a student to eat at The Lodge or Roaring Fork Dining Hall at any time.

     The plan also includes 10 guest meal swipes a semester, $50 flex dollars that can be used at Cafe 65, Clyde’s and Sanitorium Grounds. The dollars are loaded onto your student ID card.

     It sounds like a pretty sweet deal. But an unlimited meal plan is too costly for students and does not fit everyone’s living style.

     Although it’s nice to have unlimited access to food, something that many students may not have the privilege to, there are disadvantages to a meal plan like this.

    For one, I’m paying for much more food than I’m able to consume. I definitely do not eat $6,000 worth of food in a semester.  

    At CU Boulder, freshman resident students have three different options for meal plans that provide food per semester, including an allotted 19 meals a week and $150 of munch money; 15 meals of week and $200 worth of mnch money; and 10 meals a week and $270 worth of munch money.

    This is a much better alternative since students have three different options that they can choose from depending on which option fits better with their lifestyle.

    Two students cannot be placed under the same meal plan; think about the difference a football player needs to consume and be active in comparison to someone who doesn’t partake in much physical activity.

    Freshman students would agree that meal plans and housing are too high.

    “(The meal plan) is way more than I would be spending on groceries to live on my own. It’s not fair to those who have no option but to live on campus,” said freshman nursing major Tayah Weist.

    Many students would rather supplement some meals like breakfast by buying some groceries that they can eat in their dorm rooms, instead of going and eating in the dining halls.

    So, these students are also paying for these groceries or snacks that they have in their dorms rooms, along with the meal plan.

    “I really only get lunch and dinner at the dining halls, but I’m still paying for unlimited meals. I feel like we should be charged for the meals we eat and maybe at the end of the semester they give us back the money we didn’t use on food,” said Weist.

   College is already so expensive with tuition and fees, such as books and materials that students do not need a meal plan that is adding to the deficit.

    “I work 30 hours a week and I don’t always even have time to eat my meals before the dining halls close,” said freshmen anthropology major, Brianna Miller.

    “I’m paying for all of my school and it would be much better if I could choose a meal plan that fits with my schedule.”

    Although unlimited food sounds ideal, for some students, more options would better fit their needs.