Are the ends worth the meals?

by Simpsonian Editors

In the days and months leading up to that big move to college, a student’s biggest fear about the dining hall is the dreaded ‘Freshman 15.’ While the inevitable weight gain that comes along with daily doses of beef burritos and french fries is a concern, the money that goes to fund those concoctions becomes a greater burden.

When a college students’ only option for food preparation in their 10-by-10 foot dorm room is a Hot Pot, a 12-flex meal option at Pfeiffer and the Grill seems to be the best possible solution. First-year students can meet classmates and engage in the ‘community’ aspect important to the first year of college life.

Theme house, apartment, and some Greek house dwellers meanwhile, are required to have a meal plan, despite having full kitchens. The minimum option is the six-flex plan. The $1,302 a year for this meal plan allows for six meals a week and $50 a semester at the Grill.

For those students who enjoy the freedom of cooking and eating out of their own kitchens, the weight gain might be minimal, but they can find themselves spending $1,302 so they can be forced to participate in the Simpson ‘community.’

While promoting a sense of community is fundamental to the college experience, it should not come in the form of unnecessary board fees.

Those living in apartments and theme houses are at least sophomores who have already had a year of community at the Grill and Pfeiffer.

Athletics and organizations provide students with countless opportunities for interaction and community-building with their peers without forcing additional fees. The only obstacle that remains is whether students choose to take advantage of those opportunities.

Simpson might be shooting itself in the communal foot by making students pay for limited meal plan options, even when they have their own kitchen. One tends to be less inclined to take part in a community that forces a minimum of $1,302 to eat its food.