The first week of classes here at UT has barely begun and I am already disappointed by the UT Dining Services. I am no stranger to the ever-changing dining policies here at UT. I graduated in May after 4 years of Sodexho’s food tyranny, and began my graduate work this summer.
I had planned on getting a food plan for the upcoming semester so I can eat on days I have classes. However, after visiting campus this weekend I decided that I will no longer support UT Dining Services. After helping my boyfriend move into the dorm, we decided to have dinner in the new Stadium Center food court.
After waiting in line for over 30 minutes to get our food, we were told he could not use two of his meals to pay for both of our meals. When we asked why, we were told that there was a new 45 minute waiting period on all meal plans. Under this new rule, once a student has purchased food using his or her meal plan, they cannot use another meal for 45 minutes. I think this is absolutely ridiculous.
What happens when a student eats dinner and then decides he wants a smoothie or ice cream for dessert? Should we really have to wait? What about when we have friends (like during Spring Break) or family comes to visit us? We can no longer treat them to a tasty treat? What about Sunday nights when we realize we have extra meals left? Are we no longer allowed to run to the Grille and order 5 quesadillas so we can use up the rest of our meals that we paid for?
This new plan makes no sense. It seems like Dining Services is taking our money and telling us how we can spend it. After learning of this new policy, I checked out UT’s website. No where does it state this new policy. Because all students living on campus are REQUIRED to have a meal plan, I believe that they should all get to read just what exactly they are and are not allowed to do.
Why doesn’t Dining Services provide residents with this information? Why has Dining Services instituted this policy in the first place? I think that if students are paying $1000+ per semester to eat on campus then they should be allowed to eat whatever they want, whenever they want and that Dining Services should stop trying to control them.
So I am encouraging all students to get involved and take this matter straight to Dining Services. Maybe if enough people get involved, we can get this policy changed.