Martha’s and Create should bring back meal swipes

By Emma Campbell

Elm Staff Writer

In past years, Washington College has allowed students to utilize their meal swipes in places other than Hodson dining hall. The on-campus restaurants located on the first level of Hodson Commons, Martha’s Kitchen and Create, used to be a popular alternative for students who wanted a break from the food served upstairs.

As of this year, dining services has redacted  this option, only accepting dining dollars or regular dollars for the food at Martha’s and Create.

The new meal plan was implemented last year after students met with dining service administrators in a series of meetings to discuss possible changes to the system. Students discussed the possibility of increasing the stipend of money that they could utilize at the downstairs restaurants, as well as taking away time restrictions.

“The meal swipe itself didn’t cover enough to pay for what [students] were getting downstairs. So we added more dining dollars so that they did have enough. The other complaint were the time restrictions. They didn’t like the fact that they could only use meal swipes [at Martha’s and Create] after a certain time,” WC’s Assistant Dining Director Prince Johnson said.

It is understandable that students felt a change was in order, and admirable that the Dining Services staff listened and acted on that request. However, Dining Services seems to have overcorrected by removing the meal swipe option from Martha’s and Create altogether.

There is something to be said for allowing students to utilize meal swipes both upstairs and downstairs at any time they want, without imposing time or money restraints.

Last year, meals at the dining hall could be exchanged for food at Martha’s or Create, so long as the purchase was $5.50 or less.

If WC offered students less dining dollars in order to allow a greater sum than $5.50 to be put toward meal swipes, it would improve the flexibility of students’ schedules, many of which are crowded with activities and responsibilities that are challenging to fit in between the strict meal times at the dining hall.

The daily lives of WC students are vastly different. Between sports practice, musical rehearsals, homework, and internships, some students simply can’t accommodate the dining hall schedule. In addition, the food options for students with allergies or special diets are limited in the upstairs dining hall.

It is important for Dining Services to further brainstorm a meal plan policy that makes everyone happy, which can be achieved by encouraging an ongoing dialogue between Dining Services and WC students.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *