In Support of Required Meal Swipes
Being a freshman at Marist requires all students to purchase an unlimited meal swipe plan. Every year after that, students living on campus are allowed to have a say in their meal plan; they get to decide for themselves which option to choose. Options include 15, 30, 60, 90, 120 swipes per semester and then, of course, unlimited.
Whether a student decides to continue with unlimited or drop down to 15 swipes per semester following their freshman year, every student living in on-campus housing must have a minimum of 15 meal swipes per semester. However, some students would rather opt to have no meal plan at all. I personally believe that it is a good thing that Marist requires students to remain on some sort of meal plan.
The majority of students do not have a car on campus, therefore getting to a grocery store can be difficult, or requires taking a taxi or Uber. Being in college is also very expensive, and for many students, both them and their families don’t have the extra money to spare. That is why the 15 swipes are good, because the plan can act as a net or a backup in case money is very tight for a few weeks, or groceries have been momentarily sidelined.
The dining hall and the availability of unlimited swipes is something that is taken for granted freshman year. Students are also not used to having to cook every single meal for themselves each day, therefore cooking can be something that is more work than expected. Combine that with the busy schedule that plagues nearly all students, especially as exam weeks grow closer, and spending time cooking is something some students do not want to do—which again leaves swipes as a safety net for many students.
Overall, though frustrating for some students, it’s helpful that Marist requires students to have some form of the meal plan. It ensures that all students will have the opportunity for a meal each day, especially when they really need it.