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Editor’s Column: Student Residents Should Not Have To Buy A Full Meal Plan

by Angela Fortuna

Central Connecticut State University is making all residential students purchase a full unlimited meal plan while the three other state universities in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system are giving their students money-saving options.

Those of you who live on campus know that Central will not let you live in the dorms without signing up for a full-blown meal plan, whether you decide to use it or not.

The smallest meal plan option at the university totals a whopping $2,495 per semester, which is just shy of $5,000 per year, according to CCSU’s webpage. This meal plan includes unlimited access to both dining halls on campus (Memorial Hall and Hilltop Cafe) and $100 in flex dollars which can be used at Devil’s Den, Starbucks and Social Sciences Grab and Go. There are other higher meal plan options available, which raise the amount of flex dollars you receive each semester as well as money added on your Blue Chip, which can be used at a wide range of places on and off campus.

Central is the only state university in the CSCU system to require all students living on campus to purchase a meal plan without 0ffering smaller options to those who do not eat the majority of their meals on campus.

At Eastern Connecticut State University, students have the option of “block” meals, which provide a certain amount of meals per semester at the dining hall on campus, with options of 50, 75, 150 and unlimited meals, according to ECSU’s webpage.

Western Connecticut State University also offers students different levels of meal plans, which range from 75 meals a semester with the Blue 75 plan to 21 meals a week with the Ultimate Dining plan, according to the WCSU webpage. The range in price is nearly $1,500, so residential students who do not each much on campus can save thousands of dollars a year by purchasing a smaller option.

The last state university in the CSCU system, Southern Connecticut State University, offers similar meal plan options to that of ECSU and WCSU. SCSU offers residence halls with kitchens and gives the option of very small meal plans, from 25 meals a semester. All students living on campus can purchase meal plans from 12 meals a week to an unlimited plan, according to the SCSU webpage.

ECSU, WCSU and SCSU all require that only freshmen purchase the full meal plan, while CCSU requires residential students of all grade levels to purchase the full meal plan.

Some students at Central, like myself, would prefer that Central offer sophomores, juniors and seniors other meal plan options because not everyone likes to eat dining hall food 24/7.

In the real world, there will not be people to make you food all the time like they do in the dining halls.

By giving residential students the option to purchase smaller meal plans, Central would be advocating for students to learn to cook and occasionally be able to buy meals out with the money they are saving by purchasing fewer meals on campus.

Offering smaller meal plan options for sophomores, juniors and seniors living on campus might even be a way to get more students questioning living on campus to live on campus because it would be more cost-efficient for many.

By offering smaller meal plans to students living on campus, CCSU would be preparing students for life after school, which is the main goal of college, right?