Meal plan change leaves underclassmen in Eickhoff

Oh dear freshman, how I pity you. And frosh-to-be, I don’t even know you and yet I feel your pain. Once again, the ingenious members of the College administration have chosen to screw you over.

Sodexho. The word already strikes fear in the heart of every College student, vegetarian and meat-eater alike. Now there is a new phrase that will be shouted in anger and frustration out of Travers, Wolfe and Norsworthy Halls – Carte Blanche.

For once it is not the actual food that students can find fault with, but instead, the system.

Unlike upperclassmen who will have a choice between the old point system and the Carte Blanche nightmare, sophomores-to-be and incoming freshmen will find themselves taking a metaphorical plunge off the mountain of all that is good and decent in the bizarre world of college meal plans.

Basically, you will have a problem with the new system if you like to bring food out of Eickhoff Hall, if you like to eat at a dining hall that is not Eickhoff, if you have class until 8 p.m., if you don’t eat a lot of food or eat often – okay, basically you’ll have a problem if you plan to eat on campus next year.

True, under the Carte Blanche system a student can eat in Eickhoff Hall as much or as frequently as he or she wants in a day. However, that in itself is a problem – you have to eat in Eickhoff Hall.

Next year, students will not be permitted to take food outside the building unless it is fruit-or-sandwich-like and food that you have already begun to eat.

In other words, there will be no taking your dinner from Eickhoff back to your room so you can study.

Of course not. Obviously, the only reason students are here is to make Sodexho rich – not to get good grades or anything. Ivy League, here we come.

Representatives of Sodexho said by making students eat in the food court, it will allow students to meet friends. You make friends during Welcome Week. You make friends in classes. You make friends from your dorm. I hardly think it is necessary for students to forge solid relationships over their meatloaf. Not to mention that if you are hungry and your friends are not, you cannot take a plate back to your dorm room and sit with your friends. You must sit in Eickhoff. Alone.

Another reason Sodexho says students cannot take food out of Eickhoff is “food safety” – because clearly when I take a box of cereal out of the dining hall, there is danger of it spoiling – in the year 2008.

Here’s another scenario. The Brower Student Center food court is easier for you to grab a quick bite in between classes. By choosing Carte Blanche B Plan, the middle option, you pay approximately $1,352 and only $250 of that money can be used in an eating location other than Eickhoff.

You want more money to spend outside Eickhoff? You’re forced to take Carte Blanche A Plan at a proposed cost of $1,456 with $400 for all the other eating locations on campus.

There is no option that allows a student to spend an equal amount of money in Eickhoff and at other eating locations. You’re forced to spend the majority of your money at Eickhoff. Period. You don’t feel you’ll get your money’s worth there? Too bad.

Yes, Eickhoff will be open until 8 p.m. instead of 7 and 7:30 p.m. next year. This still doesn’t help individuals with 8 p.m. classes who will be forced to spend their non-Eickhoff money at T/W for dinner.

If a student with the middle meal plan spends $10 a day at a dining location that is not Eickhoff (C-Store, T/W, Brower Student Center) it will take a mere 25 days for their non-Eickhoff funds to be completely depleted.

Sodexho says they received positive feedback in regard to the Carte Blanche system. I haven’t heard a single individual who thought it was a good idea. Not a student. Not a parent. Not even some members of SGA.

Either Sodexho wrote the positive feedback themselves, or those students who did aren’t willing to speak up because they have since realized what a horribly stupid idea it is.

So on behalf of all the upperclassmen-to-be, I’d like to send my deepest sympathies out to the poor freshmen whose innocence is to be shattered by the evils of College dining. May you rise up and be Sodexho’s downfall.