As a college student, the meals I consume regularly are an extremely important part of my daily routine. As many of my peers would agree, food is undeniably an essential part of everyday life and being away from home at college, many of us seek out food options that remind us of the comforts of home.

Although Fairfield University offers its students a generous meal plan that includes access to a newly renovated Daniel and Grace Tully Dining Commons, The Stag Snack Bar and other dining options such as Einstein Bros Bagels, this meal plan is not as lenient as it should be for the price students are paying.

Aside from purchasing meals from the Tully, if students wish to eat elsewhere to vary their diet to some degree, they will be faced with the unpleasant fact that they cannot do so on their already-paid-for meal plans. If a student, per say, wishes to indulge in an order of Stag sushi for dinner one night after acing his or her Calculus exam, he or she would be forced to purchase said sushi with Dining Dollars. The issue with this is that with a pre-paid meal plan, we are only allotted a limited amount of Dining Dollars that can be used in purchasing on-campus food outside of the Tully. There are in fact some exceptions, as from 1-4 p.m. during the week students can use a meal swipe at The Stag. However, this only applies to a select number of menu items.

The issue with this is the limitation on selection. I feel strongly that since students are paying so much. According to the Fairfield University website, the meal plan costs $2,765 per semester, for 14 meal swipes a week plus 100 dining dollars or $3,350 for an unlimited amount of swipes plus 200 dining dollars, both with only two guest meal swipes, there should be less limitations and regulations in place regarding which meals we can use meal swipes to purchase. Take University of Massachusetts Amherst for example. On the UMass’ website, for a shocking price of $2,978 per semester, a student at UMass receives unlimited access to all four dining halls, each with a different variety of food options from custom order sushi to an international bar. The university’s meal plan also includes $250 dining dollars for use at any on-campus dining option outside of the meal plan applicable options and 15 guest meal swipes.

With all of this said, I feel strongly that it would be extremely beneficial for Fairfield University to release some of its regulations regarding meal swipe applicable food items. For the large amount that we pay to attend and eat at this University, we should be given an equal return. One way in which Fairfield could surely expand its meal swipe leniency would be through indefinitely including The Stag in their meal plan.

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