As the year draws to a close, we anticipate that many students will review the balance remaining on their meal plan and find that they have a surplus of meals or Culinary Cash. This year, every student paid $1,240 per term for a meal plan. There were multiple ratios of meal swipes to Culinary Cash available, and some Formal Group Houses have board transfer systems. Since the university requires this amount from each student and does not provide a lower-priced option, many students are paying hundreds of dollars more per term than they did last year. While the quality of food has improved under the management of Bon Appétit, the new system of meal plans lacks the flexibility of its predecessor. The services provided by Bon Appétit may require more funding than those of the old dining services; nevertheless, we think there should be a wider range of meal plans available to students. During the 2008-2009 academic year, the option of an $829 meal plan made purchasing groceries or dining in local restaurants more affordable for students. For Lawrentians with specific dietary needs, buying food off-campus can be healthier and more convenient. This year’s meal plan pricing has potentially deterred such behavior. For many years, a variety of College Ave. dining establishments have catered to Lawrence students. We hope that they continue to enrich the Lawrence community in the years to come and that the university’s decisions regarding meal plans do not keep students from venturing downtown. We believe continuing to allow Formal Group Houses to have board transfers and offering various configurations of the meal plans is a step in the right direction, and that in order to better suit the needs of Lawrentians, the university should offer less expensive meal plans. Its students will then have more choice in determining their dining patterns.