Meal plan between A, B would serve wider range of students

Anne Walkup, Opinions Editor

Sodexo adopts the all-or-nothing concept when it comes to selecting a meal plan.

Students on the A plan pay for the luxury of making unlimited visits to the dining hall, while those wishing to save money by choosing the B plan must drop to 12 meals per week.

Breaking it down, students on the B plan who eat an average of two meals per day still would have to skip a full day of eating each week. Their options? Either spend extra money on groceries or starve for a day, neither of which sounds pleasant.

The A plan is the perfect choice for the student wishing to eat at least three full meals a day in Dillin—indeed, I have known people to swipe in to Dillin as many as six times a day.  

The B plan is perfect for the student with some extra cash to spend on groceries as well as the skill and resources necessary to undertake the challenge of dorm room cooking.

For a student like me, neither plan A nor B makes much sense. I find that making my own microwaved oatmeal and mint tea each morning to be most satisfactory, so I avoid Dillin altogether for breakfast. Swiping for lunch and dinner each day adds to 14 swipes each week.

I’ve experimented with cutting two swipes per week (so I could drop to the B plan) by trying some dorm room cooking. My exploding sweet potato and smoothie disaster were proof enough that microwave oatmeal is my limit.

My weekly number of swipes put me just out of range of saving money on the B plan. Although it’s only a $75 difference per semester, I still feel that I am wasting money on the A plan by not eating three meals in Dillin every day, not to mention an extra $205 in flex that accompany the B plan.

I believe that I and many other Linfield students fall into a category which I shall call the non-existent B+ plan. I envision this meal plan to include 14-16 meals per week and to cost about $15 more than the B plan. This B+ plan would also include around $200 worth of flex.

Comparing the B+ plan to the A plan, students would save $60 on Dillin meals and would gain $75 worth of flex per semester. While perhaps this might not seem like a lot of money, I am sure I’m not the only college student trying to find small ways to save a few dollars.

So please, Sodexo, don’t be like the professor not generous enough to bump the B up to a B+—it’s not a big difference, but the B+ would certainly help our bank accounts the same as it helps our GPAs.