Dining Dilemma: How the Changes Affect Us
Published: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
There used to be a sport at Boston College that required more strategic skill than any other. It was a game of patience, strategy, dedication, and sometimes a bit of crafty maneuvering. This sport was securing a table at Hillside. But this year, the popular on-campus eatery has a significantly different vibe. Due to the changes in the meal plan this year, the once-buzzing breakfast, lunch, and dinner spot is missing its customary long winding lines and crowded noisy atmosphere. We have been robbed of the sport of table spotting, because now, there are tables aplenty to be had.
The buzz has spread across campus as a new sign greets Hillside eaters, telling them the multitude of ways that they can pay for their half-caf extra foam iced soy lattes and New England classic sandwiches. None of these options happens to be the regular meal plan, and diners are not happy. While the empty spaces here may be seen as a student protest against the changes in the meal plan allotment, for some, it is just not an affordable luxury anymore. For upperclassmen with a Flex plan, though, the dining hall changes are less of a concern, “As an upperclassman, I’m loving it. I’m enjoying the less-crowdedness of it [Hillside]. I heard Eagle’s Nest is crazy packed,” said Griffin Weider, LSOE ’13. This seems to be a widely-held sentiment for those lucky enough to have a Flex plan. “I have a Flex plan so I guess it doesn’t really affect me,” said Alexandra Smith, A&S ’14.
Other changes on campus have been met with less hostility—mainly, the mini marts, three of which have been stationed around campus. After the initial thrill of seeing a bottle of Smart Water on sale for less than $5 wears off, students realize that this mini mart too does not accept the bulk of the money on their dining plan. With the ever-coveted Chobani supply moved to the newest convenience store on campus, how will the students survive? Doesn’t BC Dining Services remember the angerand revolts that ensued when BC’s favorite Greek yogurt was pulled from the shelves even for a few days?
“I mostly don’t like how they changed Lower that much with the salad bar and the yogurt, said Alexis Tedesco, A&S ’14. “I’d be really upset if I couldn’t get this food with my regular dining plan. I don’t know of any place on campus to get good coffee with regular dining money ... the mini marts, I don’t understand them. They sell the same stuff as the dining halls. I would only go there for yogurt, I guess ... It seems like it’s basically a scam for us to spend more money,” Tedesco said.
BC is a school that is constantly changing, and like the newest Facebook update, it’s inevitable and just something we have to adapt to.
But really, should we be getting so upset about all this? It’s food. We are lucky enough that finding something to eat isn’t a daily worry, but a mere short walk from anywhere on or off campus to a dining hall where huge quantities of healthy, delicious, and nourishing food await us all. Are we so spoiled that the only cause for our concern is losing our beloved Baja Chicken sandwich once a week?
Conversely, many students cannot afford to just pay for Hillside food and Mini Mart items out of their own pockets once they have quickly run through their allotted $175 to use at these establishments.
Many of the most popular dining hall items have disappeared from their usual places and have migrated up to the Mini Marts, much to diners’ dismay. “It’s like they took every good thing and put it in the mini marts,” said Clare Maguire, CSON ’14.
Although some are willing to indulge in the Chobani that has moved to the Mini Marts despite the meal plan changes, others are less hesitant to jump on the bandwagon and support the mini marts. “I walked past it, I just haven’t had a reason to go in there,” said Allison McQueen, LSOE ’14. And for some, the Mini Marts are still a mystery. “What mini marts?” said Billy Nugent, A&S ’14.
Things have changed, and will continue to change, whether we like it or not, so it’s time for us to adapt. Whether that means finding new favorites in the standard dining halls, befriending or bartering with someone who has a Flex plan, or simply giving up and adding some Eagle Bucks to our account, we will continue to survive.
It can serve as a much needed lesson in money management for many members of the student body. We all like what we have grown accustomed to, for sure, but it’s good to shake it up a bit. On the bright side, Eagle’s Nest is rotating some Hillside favorites throughout the week, so with some planning, you can indulge in your New England Classic in a new place if you are willing to adapt.