Meal points shortage at SBU

FSAThe end of the semester at Stony Brook university is rapidly approaching. With the pressure of finals and graduation, one would expect  for food consumption to increase around campus.

However, taking a quick look at the different dining halls all over campus, it seems as if not much eating is going on. In fact, a lack of meal points is currently forcing students to look for alternatives to feed themselves.

According to the Faculty Student Association, over  6,000 students are currently enrolled in one of the four residential meal plans the university offers.

The FSA website also states that “ Resident students, who live in a residence hall or area designated as non-cooking, must enroll in a resident meal plan regardless of class year or tenure at Stony Brook.”

This leaves most students with four meal plan options to choose from. Naturally, more than half of those students have enrolled in the cheapest meal plan option, the Bronze plan.

This plan which costs $1,930 per semester offers a total of 1325 points. This equals to about $10 per day.

However, according to James Lekstutis, a student resident assistant in Roosevelt quad, a single meal in any of the dining halls on campus costs about $9. This leaves students with a dollar to spare for the rest of the day.

According to Campus Dining Services Marketing Manager, Carly Shephard, the Bronze meal plan is not targeted to full time resident students. “There are some students who work for campus dining and get discounts or free meals, the bronze plan would work for those students.”

More expensive meal plan options are available for students, including the silver, gold and platinum plans, which offer a larger amount of meal points.

However, in an effort to reduce the costs of attending college, students prefer to deal with the cheaper option, even if it means restricting their diets.

Student Iftear Naser, says at times he restricts his food intake up to a single meal per day in order to budget his meal points throughout the semester.

Alternatives to buying food in the dining halls include attending club meetings and events that offer free food,  cooking easy-to-make food, surviving on noodle soup and mac and cheese or visiting the food pantry located in the union building.

According to Shephard, campus dining is constantly working to help students with low to no meal points offering a variety of promotions and events such as midnight breakfast, strawberry fest, and discounts in certain products at the dining halls.

“We need to educate students,” said Carly Shephard, ” and Campus Dining is currently working with those who need our help,” she added.

To see some students reactions on the topic, take a look at the video below:

Meal Points from Diana Lopez on Vimeo.

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