Meal plans bite

Back in the day when we watched Sesame Street and Transformers, Mommy and Daddy used to tell us exactly when we could eat our Spaghetti-O’s.

They also told us to finish our vegetables and not to eat snacks before dinner.

Now that we’re adults, it seems things haven’t really changed – at least not at Western.

The Board of Regents and the Food Services Posse have decided to force feed next year’s crop of on-campus freshman the best of campus dining. They’ll be required to buy a minimum 10-meal plan that costs $729 per semester.

Administrators aren’t requiring meal plans just to make students’ lives miserable, they’re doing it to try to make dining better on campus. The meal plans will help finance renovation for dining facilities.

But for the people who have to buy meal plans, well, it bites.

There are problems that need to be remedied before this policy goes into effect. Here are a few suggestions:

Allow unused meal plans to carry over. Most people don’t use all of their meals every seven days. Many freshman go home for weekends or long breaks and may not be here to eat 10 meals on campus every week.

Let freshmen stock up meals for a week when they’re absolutely broke or for when they decide to brave a weekend in Bowling Green.

Lose the “meal zones” – the ignorant times designated for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

We’re all adults and should be able to eat when we want. If we want breakfast at 11:30 and lunch at 3, both during what is now “lunchtime,” then let us have it.

If administrators are going to decide when we eat, they might as well institute afternoon nap time. Maybe part our student fees should go toward blue nap mats.

Give us options. Spice up the menu at restaurants that offer plans. We don’t want cold turkey subs everyday. Give us something a little out of the ordinary, like a Southwest Steak and Cheese Sandwich. If we have to use these meal plans, don’t make us eat the same meal everyday.

While we still see room for improvement, we do want to offer kudos for the new extended hours. Garrett Food Court will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day (But Subway will close at 2:30 p.m. What’s up with that?) Topper Food Court will now offer weekend hours.

By next fall, at least one restaurant, probably Subway in DUC, will be open until midnight.

We appreciate the extended hours and the hopeful improvements the mandatory meal plans bring, but be careful.

There are a lot of choices in higher education today and some schools don’t mandate meal plans.

If new students don’t have options, they’ll just go to another school where they can eat their Spaghetti-O’s whenever they darn well please.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 11-member board of student editors.