Meal plan changes unfairly limit options

Recent changes in the acceptance of certain meal plans at Belle Air Terrace in the Connelly Center have angered students. Others, especially faculty members, have welcomed the changes, which ensure shorter lines at peak meal times.

Although the intent of the alterations is appreciated, it unfairly limits the options of students during normal meal times. Now the use of the Meal Plan Express (MPE) form of payment from certain meal plans is restricted to the hours between 8 and 9 a.m. for breakfast, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. for lunch and 7:30 and 10 p.m. for dinner.

These times are inconvenient for the majority of students, so students are forced to go elsewhere for meals. This would potentially reduce the long lines and waiting periods for food at Connelly.

However, many students, like faculty members and commuters (two groups unaffected by the changes), prefer to eat at a la carte locations in order to bring the food elsewhere to do work. Other students have only a short time between classes or work to quickly get something to eat and must get food at an a la carte location in order to bring it with them.

Although the Italian Kitchen and the Corner Grille are a la carte locations that still accept MPEs from all students during regular hours, the overflow from Connelly will simply be transferred to these dining halls, thus negating any positive effect the changes could possibly have.

Furthermore, some students favor the food at Connelly or the Holy Grounds in CEER. If a student pays for a meal plan, he / she should be able to eat wherever he / she likes.

Also, there are times when the Corner Grille (dinner time) or both the IK and the Corner Grille (breakfast time) are closed, so the only a la carte location available with certain foods is the Belle Air Terrace.

The abrupt announcement of the change came two days after students could change their meal plans without penalty, which meant that students who habitually eat at Connelly or CEER could not even switch their meal plans to one accepted there.

No specific group should be allowed access to certain dining halls; they should be open to everyone as every person is an equal part of the University community.

All changes should be carefully considered as to how they would affect the majority of the University population and should be announced far enough in advance to give those affected a chance to adjust.