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Students’ meal plans dry up

Students’ meal plans dry up

On-campus students don’t normally have to wonder how they are going to pay for their next meal.  The meal plan on students’ i-cards have been reliable throughout the year, but many students are at the point where that money has run out.

Currently, many students cannot afford three meals a day like other students. They are stuck continuously refilling their meal plan, eating off of their friends’ meal plans, or using packs of Ramen noodles as their sustenance.

Crackers and noodles are what freshman biology major Maya Rudder plans on surviving off of until the end of the semester. She said she ran out of her meal plan money a week ago.  Since then, she has been using other people’s meal plan money or just skipping meals. She said she will have to eat less and strategically eat meals these next two weeks.

Rudder said that her parents know she has run out of meal plan money, and they told her it was up to her to refill it. “I feel like they should throw in an extra $100 at the end of the year,” said Rudder.

Mina Morales, freshman psychology major, also run out of meal plan money.  She has taken a different approach to make sure she eats. Morales said she has been going to a lot more events that offer free food. Morales said she does not know if her parents will put some more money on her meal plan.

On the other hand, Ciera Hoosier, freshman biology major, has had a lot of help from her parents to make sure she has food to eat for the next two weeks. She said the first thing that went through her mind when she spent her last few dollars was “I need to go to Wal-Mart.”

Some days, Hoosier said she just uses her friend’s i-card. According to Hoosier, her friend Stacy Ngwa does not mind because she still has a lot of money left.  Her parents have given her a significant amount of help compared to other student’s parents.

Using someone else’s i-card seems to be a common trend among students who are looking for another meal. These students offering their i-card do not mind because they know any leftover money will not be refunded back.

In fact Ngwa said that she did not mind if people used her meal plan money for a couple of reasons. She knew she would not get a refund for the remaining money and she does not know any other way to get rid of all of her excess money.

One thing that these students have learned for sure is how to monitor their spending for next year; they all said they will not be in the same position come the fall semester. “They need to lower the prices of the food, so I won’t run out so quickly,” Morales said.

To prevent this from happening in the future, Housing is encouraging students to sign up for your Fall meal plan before leaving for the summer.  Forms can be picked up at the FRH and LRH front desks, the ID Center, and Housing Commons.

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