Change Kent State's New Meal Plan Back

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If it isn't broken, don't fix it. The changes to KSU meal plans are/were completely unnecessary and I've only seen negative feedback thus far. Declining balance rather than swipes made Kent's meal plan stick out to many people as opposed to other colleges; now that it has changed it seems like a smack in the face to the student body. 

Declining balance gives you more options. The remodel of Eastway is appreciated, but forcing it upon us is not. Some students live in dorms far away from Eastway, and as one of those people I would eat almost exclusively at the HUB. If you are in one of these farther dorms, you can't do that this year. Prentice is an option but due to the dietary limitations and smaller selection of meals it is inconvenient for many members of the student body.

Declining balance teaches you to budget your money. When you have only a certain amount of money to make it through the semester, you're forced to budget how and where you spend it in order to make it last. This is an important life skill and declining balance is a good introduction.

Declining balance catered to a better Kent State University experience for visitors. The idea behind a maximum of only 10 guest swipes is absurd. Say you're in a family of four and they come to visit you- you can't easily get them meals without running out after a few visits (assuming you want to use some swipes for visiting friends). This leads to being forced to either use the small amount of declining balance you have or spend your cash (which seems like a bit of a money ploy by KSU). 

Declining balance was more student friendly. As of now, there is no option to get food from either Eastway or Prentice and bring it back to your dorm. Not being able to grab food on the go is very inconvenient, especially if you're in the hurry to grab a quick bite and get to your next class, your dorm, or anywhere. Another issue is that you can't enter a dining hall without using a swipe or paying to get in, even if you don't plan on eating. This means that if you've either eaten beforehand or aren't hungry, you can't sit with your friends while they eat unless you pay (again, seems like a ploy).

We, as a student body, were not asked about if we wanted a change from declining balance to mainly swipes. The very least KSU could have done was give us students a say in the future of our dining options before making such a drastic change.

Potential resolutions:

1. Add the option to have a meal plan centered completely around declining balance for all students, not just upperclassmen and those who live off campus. Considering you can still pay to get into the dining halls, this seems fair.

2. Completely switch back to the old meal plan. 

3. Adding more visitor swipes, allowing the visitor(s) to use them at any place they wish. If not, at least allow us to use one of our own swipes on a guest.

4. Add more plans catering to a smaller amount of swipes and larger declining balance. 

This change has been frustrating, but it isn't too late for KSU to make right and put the voices of their students above their profits. After all, what's the point of having ten Starbucks on campus if you don't have any meal plan to use there?

I encourage you to share this with and under tweets by @PresBWarren, @KSUDining, @KentState, @KentStateUSG, and any other Kent related accounts where it can be easily viewed by students.



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