Dining plans shouldn’t be exclusive

James Farmer

Last year, Georgia Southern University announced a new dining plan system to go along with its new dining halls. The new plans would have unlimited access to the halls, but the plans would only grant you access to the new Lakeside and the dining hall formerly known as Landrum. While dining sales have gone up, the university basically picked and chose which dining facilities it wished to succeed and fail.  By only allowing the meal plans to be used at two locations, the university is artificially inflating the sales and usage of the new dining halls, which are under pressure to succeed soon due to the price tag attached to them.

I know there are dining dollars, which were added to the plans last year after students voiced their concern over the plans, but these dollars are limited and are not as convenient as the actual meal plans. Some dining halls have experienced a noticeable drop in sales and have to try to find other ways to make money. Einstein’s is trying to jump start its catering program to make up for its drop in sales and Cold Stone is attempting to bring an ice cream cart to campus.

Shouldn’t students decide which dining facilities deserve their money? Maybe, with all the variety and flashy eye scanners that the new places have, students would rather have unlimited Chick-fil-A or Market Street Deli? It is a staple of free market economics that the best products are chosen by the consumers with the money in their wallet. However, with this new system, the scales are tilted in favor of the dining halls that the university wants to justify spending copious amounts of money on. Freshmen are at a disadvantage in this system, because they are required to purchase meal plans. We, as students, should not be content to have these artificial limits placed upon our meal plans. The university should expand the meal plans to all dining facilities again, and not limit the meal plan students to just the two dining halls.