Last year, Bon Appetite at Goucher had a much simpler way of going about meal plans. I’d sign up for the meal plan I felt best fit my needs and that’s what I was given for the semester. Say I signed up for the largest meal plan with 240 meals; I’d get that number of meals and I could use them whenever and however I wanted.
Now, Goucher has come up with a new plan on how to better manage our meal plan needs. I can still choose my meal plan, but there’s a catch. If I sign up for the now largest nineteen meals per week plan, all I get is nineteen meals to use over the course of a week and they’re use-or-lose. If I don’t use all nineteen, they will disappear, meaning I can’t save meal swipes for later in the semester or whatever I choose.
Additionally, last year I was given three-hundred dining dollars (flex) to use at other dining locations on campus over the semester. But this year, that has been cut down to two-hundred-fifty dollars on flex to use.
What gives, Goucher?
I stumbled upon a petition demanding that Goucher make a few changes to the meal plans. First, make food equitable, meaning we should be able to use our meal swipes throughout the semester and across campus in locations such as Alice’s. Meal swipes not used during any given week should always roll over to the next. Second, food should be available in more locations, meaning Goucher needs to reopen The Van and open Alice’s for longer hours including Sunday nights. Goucher need to make the main dining hall hours longer at night and on the weekends. Third, no tax on flex. These, and other demands, had to be met by Bon Appetite last Thursday (September 13th), and students must have a transparent email detailing the plans to make it happen. Since demands haven’t been met and there has been no communication from Goucher or Bon Appetite, students were planning on protesting in Dorsey on Monday (September 17th). Which did not happen.
I am upset that our semester meal plan was changed to a weekly plan and my mind keeps coming back to one particular thought. I cannot resist wondering if Goucher is allowing Bon Appetit to steal from its students. Yes, I knowingly signed up for the meal plan assuming what my needs on a weekly basis would be, but my meal swipes are disappearing because I choose to eat somewhere besides the dining hall (not including the Pick Three option at The Market, which takes meal swipes). My flex has gone down by fifty dollars. Last year, I used every last penny of my three-hundred flex dollars.
Thankfully, Goucher has admitted to some of its mistakes and refunded all of the tax that was charged on flex, which is a step in the right direction. I’m not saying that there is a right or wrong way to go about feeding a campus full of students. I am simply saying that there should be a way to go about meal plans that makes everyone happy.