Computer glitch leaves some students angry, hungry

Many students were surprised when they were unable to use their meal plans after returning from Spring Break, due to a problem with the registers.

“We discovered the ‘Closed for the Holiday’ issue shortly after the Marketplace Convenience Store opened at noon,” Steven Hugg, director of marketing for Sodexho, the College’s food service provider, said.

Hugg said that signs were hung to let students know that only cash and Gold Club were being accepted.

“Whenever the ID Cards or registers are not working, we try to let students know about the situation as soon as possible,” Hugg said.

“Our managers also monitor the problem so we can start accepting cards as soon as the problem is resolved,” he added.

“It was really annoying,” Caitlin Mara, senior English major, said.

“You don’t normally bring cash with you to T/W,” she said. “I wound up going off campus for food.”

“I bought ice cream at Quik Check and had that for dinner,” Courtney Ashe, junior history and secondary education major, said.

Hugg explained that the problem was with the register system and was not anything that Sodexho could control.

“If the cards aren’t working, or if the dining plan isn’t working, we have to wait for them to come back on line,” Hugg said.

“It promoted the thievery of food,” Matthew Everett Jacobsen, junior English major, said. “People like to spend meal plan because it is like imaginary money, as opposed to the real money in their wallet,” he added.

In the past, College dining hall workers were able to take students’ Social Security numbers in lieu of scanning their card. Sodexho, however, does not support this practice.

“With all the concerns about identity theft, we don’t want to have liability for having a written record of someone’s Social Security number,” Hugg said. “Of course, it would also be hard to keep students from using someone else’s Social Security number or to make sure the number was correct.

“We rely on the ID Cards just like everyone else does – and normally it works very well,” Hugg added.