U of L Meal Plan: Hard to Swallow (10-23-08)
Last week, U of L announced a plan requiring all full-time undergraduate students on the Belknap campus -- including commuters -- to purchase a meal plan that would cost at least $250 and up to more than $1,000 per semester. Supposedly, it's designed to help create "more and better dining options" on campus and enhance residential life.
Now I'm a big U of L supporter, but this makes no sense to me. At a time of skyrocketing tuition costs, this kind of arbitrary fee adds insult to injury.
If U of L wants more and better dining options, they should provide the necessary space and allow new vendors to prove they're better. If they are, more students will naturally patronize them and they'll get their money the old-fashioned way - by earning it.
And while "residential life on campus" is a great thing, let's face it. A major part of U of L's mission has always been - and always will be - to serve a large base of commuter students. And these people's schedules often don't allow for the luxury of on-campus dining.
Universities shouldn't be in the business of micromanaging the details of their students' lives right down to where they choose to eat. And this plan should be tossed in the dumpster along with the rest of today's table scraps.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.