Julia Maher ’23
Currently, Holy Cross only offers two meal plans for its students—The Resident Meal Plan and the Apartment Plan. The Resident Meal Plan includes unlimited meals in Kimball, $425 dining dollars each semester to use in other dining locations, and 8 meal swipes per week in Lower Kimball. The Apartment Plan includes $1,450 to be used in all dining locations. While the two different options are handy to distinguish between dorm residents and students who live in apartments, Holy Cross should offer at least one more meal plan option—one that offers more flexibility between Kimball and other dining locations for students who rarely eat at Kimball, but are forced into an expensive meal plan.
First, some students don’t eat on a normal schedule. Since Kimball is open from 7am-8pm with breaks in between for sanitation during the pandemic, some students struggle to find a time to eat if they have classes or activities at odd hours of the day. These students should be offered a plan that is only dining dollars so that they are not restricted to $425 dining dollars at other locations each semester.
Second, some students have dietary restrictions that provide them few options for variety. The lack of fresh fruit and vegetable options don’t meet the needs of some students, and they buy groceries to supplement their needs. These students should be offered a half of a dining plan or just dining dollars. Many students waste the dollars that they pay toward their mandatory dining plan.
Third, it’s not very convenient to go to Kimball from the dorms, and some students are just picky eaters. Especially right now during the pandemic, students have to wait in lines to go to Kimball or schedule to eat in-person. It’s even less convenient than it used to be to just grab a quick meal in Kimball. This is a third reason why there should be a meal plan option that only includes dining dollars to be used at all locations.
Ultimately, Holy Cross should offer more dining plan options for students to meet their individualized schedules, dietary restrictions, preferences, and convenience. The pandemic has brought this issue to light due to the periodic closing of Kimball throughout the day to sanitize, the long lines, and also less options for dietary restrictions.