If you are a college student reading this, chances are that you do not eat breakfast, w hich is fine, no judgment here. But here is the crucial question: if one day on a whim you decide that you need breakfast from there onward, would you like the option to have it? Or better still, would you like the option to re-allocate those funds elsewhere? Here at Lawrence, the administration apparently says to this attitude, “Shove it.” For the purposes of remaining somewhat composed, I have elected to use less vulgar terminology. Basically, it has been decided that Lawrence students do not get three meals a day. Apparently, we simply do not deserve it. A true shining example of the Lawrence Difference. Allow me, friends, to break down for you exactly how we get screwed out of key choices, autonomy and a goddamn breakfast.
Alright, so there does exist one single plan that covers “all” your meals. I present to you the 19 meals a week and a minuscule $100 translating to $1.40 a day in culinary cash. Oh, and should you want a third meal on a Saturday or Sunday, you’re just gonna have to go somewhere else because the weekends are ONLY FOR BRUNCH! But say you are one of the many students who find the commons’s hours restrictive or don’t like the food or have unusual allergies or all of the above. Maybe you move on to the next available plan, 14 meals a week and $225, translating to $3.20 a day in culinary cash. But surely that can’t be right, because that translates to the only affordable option if you happen to want a third meal being a bagel and a spread of choice. Maybe you can buy some veggies if you feel like splurging. So, in paying the same amount, when you want to consume about the same amount of food, you get LESS food for your money.
Fantastic. Alright. What’s next? Surely it will get better, right? Nine meals a week or one meal a day and two extra, plus $400 translating to $5.70 a day in culinary cash. Now you maybe have more options, but if you want that three whole meals a day you are going to have to really stretch that $5.70. I’m talking maybe a muffin in the morning and a bagel for lunch. Here we see that there is even less food for the same amount of money, because that makes perfect sense. Finally, we come to all culinary cash, a whopping $1175 translating to $16.70 a day. Now, theoretically, this is a great deal and actually capable of getting potentially three decent meals a day. The only problem is that you can never eat in the commons with your friends if you don’t want to exhaust all that money super quick. So why do you lose out on food the more you invest in culinary cash, despite the fact that paying to eat in the commons costs MORE than anything in the cafe does?
Honestly, your guess is as good as mine. I’m in the same confused boat when it comes to us not getting the full $1735 that we pay towards food. Where does that $560 go? Are they putting the money into our actual food? Here’s the thing, LU Administration: I have railed at you a lot in my articles over the years, but it is because you commit an arguably even greater sin than this stupid meal plan. You do not ever even have the decency to fully tell us exactly why it is the way it is, where our money goes and how exactly we can have a say and change it. It is not my job as the student to chase you down and harass you until you tell me with full clarity why I should be okay with paying out of pocket for one meal a day. Also, I did not even mention snacks, which I believe are essential to our existence. People need snacks! It is your job as allocators of my money to clearly explain what happens with it.
I can afford to pay out of pocket for one meal a day. I am very lucky on that front, but that is not the case for many students on this campus. But you do not even have the decency to fully explain why they might just not get food. You give bold and broad statements and excuses, but you never bother to treat us like adults and give us a full run-down. You can tell me I ask for too much, but then when you sit down to your prized breakfast before work, maybe consider burning a few extra dollars in the sink for your lunch budget. Then buy a bagel with one spread and see if it’s enough.