Meal plans at OSU can give students the freedom to not fear hunger, but does that outweigh the pressure of trying to spend the whole thing?
At Oklahoma State, incoming freshmen are required to live on campus and purchase a meal plan. There are five meal plan options; Plan G (increments of $100), Copper ($1,180), Bronze ($1,550), Silver ($1,755), Gold ($2,005) and Platinum($2,275).
“While I understand why the university wants the meal plan to be mandatory, I do not find it fair. The bronze meal plan has a much higher balance than many of us really need and I do not like that we are essentially being forced to waste money,” student Sarah Jarvis said.
There are many different dining options around campus that use the meal plan; the union, north dining, Cafe Libro and Which Which sandwiches. Due to covid, some of these options are closed this year.
“We have plenty of dining options, but I feel that they should be spread out more evenly across campus so people do not have to walk so far to receive a meal. I also do not like how early the dining options close at the union, forcing students to walk a long distance to other locations,” Jarvis said.
Many students have a hard time spending all of their meal plan money on food.
“Most of the time I buy food for my friends that do not have a meal plan just to get rid of it,” student Taylor Jennings said.
At the end of the semester, a portion of the meal plan is carried over; Copper ($175), Bronze ($230), Silver ($265), Gold ($300) and Platinum ($340). Any money past that amount is lost and cannot be refunded or carried over.
“I think the money which is leftover at the end of the semester should completely rollover. It should be put towards the next semester's meal plan rather than the student having to pay for an entirely new plan, or if the student is not planning on having a meal plan the next semester, the money could be put towards their tuition,” student Madilyn Wilson said.
There are many opinions on how meal plans should work at OSU and it is good that students can choose how much they spend, but many students just end up buying unnecessary food that ends up going to waste. For more information, students and parents can visit the okstate website or contact University Dining Services.