Viterbo meal plan needs some work

By Jessica Schurmann

Lumen Assistant Editor

Have you ever done the math to see what you are actually paying for you cafeteria meals? Did you know that some students wind up paying up to $17.26 a pop just to enjoy our cafeteria’s finest?

I sat down and calculated out the total cost per week and per meal for the four possible meal plans at Viterbo (not counting the V-Hawk bucks). For the 19 meals/week plan, the cost is pretty reasonable at $5.66 a meal. Even the 14 meals/week plan is acceptable at $7.77 a meal. However, the cost becomes pricier when students buy plans that offer fewer meals per week.

For the lowest meal plan, the 80 Flex, students will pay $17.26 per meal, which includes the four guest passes they receive. If you don’t believe me, do the math: $1,450 (not counting the $100 V-Hawk bucks) divided by 84 meals.

Currently, I am paying $9.60 a meal with my 10-a-week plan. I live in one of the on-campus apartments; therefore I have the convenience of cooking for myself most of the time. However, we are forced to adopt a meal plan and thus, I chose the 10. I refuse to pay $18 a meal even if I do not use all of my 10 meals a week.

During a typical week, I eat about 6-8 meals in either the Caf or Crossroads. I lose money by not having the opportunity to eat all of my meals during the designated hours.

One of the other problems that I have is with the guest policy for meal plans. When I have a visitor at Viterbo and we would like to eat in the Caf, I have to either use my V-Hawk bucks or pay out of pocket for the second meal. What does it matter if I am paying for my 10 meals already, $9.60 each, don’t forget? Shouldn’t I be able to spend MY money how I want? Why should I pay for a meal twice, when I don’t even use all of my 10 as it is?

I feel cheated out of my money for the meal plans. If we want to have two lunches one day, why can’t we? We’re paying for them by checking the meals off our weekly allowance. If we want to cover the meal of a visitor, why can’t we? We shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket when we have a paid balance ready and waiting.

Viterbo should reconsider the requirement for on-campus residents to have meal plans when the majority of its housing consists of apartment buildings, and it should also allow those who do have a meal plan to use their meals (since they are all paid for) however they like.

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