When Pat Connelly toured the College, she envisioned what the life of her son John, sophomore open options major, would be like on campus. Like most mothers, she took interest in where he would eat, sleep and study.
“The thing I was most impressed with was the convenience of my son being able to eat on campus,” she said. “He would be able to stop where he was closest to and get something to eat.”
Now that John is a sophomore, however, the Points Only Plan that had appealed to him and his family when he was a prospective student is no longer offered to him.
“This year they went and changed it and he’s so limited to where he can go to eat,” Connelly said, referring to how Eickhoff Dining Hall is the only dining hall offering Carte Blanche meals.
“I’m paying a very large amount of money for my son to have a good meal several times a day and I do not feel that I’m getting my money’s worth,” she said.
Connelly is not alone in her concerns. Parents, particularly those of sophomores, are echoing their sons’ and daughters’ criticism of Carte Blanche.
Although they’re miles away, parents, too, have a vested interest in the meal plan, seeing as how they are typically the ones footing the bill and naturally worrying about how well their children are eating.
“This is ridiculous,” Susan Dunlap, mother of Michelle, sophomore history and secondary education major, said regarding Carte Blanche. “The plan was shoved down your throat.”
Dunlap said her main objection to Carte Blanche was that her daughter couldn’t eat frequently at dining halls other than Eickhoff Hall, as doing so would deplete her limited point supply before the semester’s end.
Dunlap also expressed sympathy for the freshmen who no longer dine at T/W. Having attended the College herself, she recalled how convenient it was to walk down to T/W when she lived in the Towers.
Eickhoff Hall’s 8 p.m. closing time does not go over well with parents either. Tina Mustachio, mother of Deanna, sophomore psychology major, said it bothers her that her daughter cannot eat dinner at Eickhoff Hall on nights that she has class until 8:20 p.m.
Despite these objections, John Higgins, general manager of Dining Services, said that he has only received about 10 phone calls from parents as of last Wednesday. These calls came mostly after the Labor Day weekend, he said.
Higgins said he addressed the concerns of these parents and they all seemed to be more satisfiedafterwards. He added that he is willing to meet with any students whose class schedule interferes with their ability to get meals.
“We’ll make sure all students are able to eat,” he said.
Connelly said she has not yet contacted Sodexho but plans to do so. As for now, she said she has the impression that student opinions are not being heard.
“It’s like we’re talking to a deaf ear,” she said.
Richard Sadowsky, father of Scott, sophomore history and secondary education major, said he thinks the conflict could be alleviated if all students, not just upperclassmen, were given the option of a Points Only plan.
“I think both systems have their merit and that students should be able to have a choice,” he said.
The lack of choice is “just not acceptable,” Connelly said. “Your school just got bumped up in the rankings and that’s grand, but do they really want people to go visit the school and find such unrest over the meal plan?”
-Kristina Fiore, Managing Editor; Donna Kardos, Copy Editor; Tammy Tibbetts, Fact Checker