Eating off the Meal Plan: a Series on Where Else to Eat (Phi Kappa Tau house)

One of Lawrence University’s most unique aspects is the availability of theme and formal group  housing, and the meal plans they offer as alternatives to Bon Appétit. Among these, there is no single, collective food plan, allowing differences between each house.

To highlight one house and meal plan in particular, The Lawrentian spoke to junior and Phi Kappa Tau (Phi Tau) President Neal Bauer about his experience living in the house and availing a different meal plan. He stated, “It’s amazing. We are able to bring in a wide variety of food options, which allows me to take ownership over my daily routine with food in a way I wasn’t able to at the commons.”

In Phi Tau, the active members are provided their food budget per term based on how many members live in the house. The types of food in the house are based on personal preferences with an ongoing grocery list for reference. Some of these include various meats, fresh produce, Oreos and several kinds of Naked juices.

This meal plan allows the members of Phi Tau, both living in the house and off campus, a haven to cook their own food. This is conducive to a variety of lifestyles, allowing members to still eat in the commons or the café, or to only eat in the house, depending on their personal preference. There are various kinds of meal plans available to Phi Tau members, ranging from only having meals at the house to eating there from time to time.

When asked about the cooking duties and clean-up responsibilities, Neal responded, “The division of labor is equal amongst the house. Everyone supports each other, but mainly cooks for themselves.”

This sense of community is echoed in other theme houses across campus as they do things together, such as ensuring that there is food for all diets and making group dinners to eat together as a community. Phi Tau supports various living choices in addition to their meal plan. In order to live in the house, one must be an active in good academic standing. There are 17 members currently living in the house, situated next to International House on the beloved Boldt Way.