Updated: Nov 22, 2021
By Scott Calzolaio
For those of you that don’t know, last year we had a very effective system in place called the “The Meal Exchange Program.”
With this program in place, students with a meal plan could go to one of the other four places on campus and select from a limited menu in exchange for a meal swipe, which is what is used to get into the Dining Commons. Chicken fingers and fries were offered at the Grille, a sandwich at the Deli, a small pizza at the Pizzeria, or California Quesadilla from Sandella’s. It was great to have those kinds of options without wasting our dining dollars.
They’ve since changed this system creating more problems than there were before. With the program in place, I could go to one of the other places to eat if it looked too busy in the Commons. This effectively spread out the crowd so each line didn’t take five minutes to get through like it does today. Now that it’s been illuminated, I can still go to those other places, but it is going to cost me precious Dining Dollars, which are reserved for coffee, Pop-Tarts and milkshakes.
The excuse for the change was that the Dining Commons was opening the new seating expansion, and would have room for everyone to sit. They opened this expansion, and at the same time the number of students on campus has increased, allowing more students to purchase meal plans. The cafeteria renovation did not include any new food stations, causing the lines to be longer than they’ve ever been in the past. The seating problem is still unresolved as well. If the problems are to be fixed, the Meal Exchange Program must be brought back.