Step Away from My Cocoa Puffs

Dansbury Commons is open 7:00 AM to 1:00 AM on weekdays. Photo Credit / Amy Lukac
Dansbury Commons is open 7:00 AM to 1:00 AM on weekdays. Photo Credit / Amy Lukac
Dansbury Commons is open 7:00 AM to 1:00 AM on weekdays.
Photo Credit / Amy Lukac

By Brittany Barnes
SC Contributing Writer

Its midnight, and your stomach rumbles. You look over and realize you ate your last bit of Cocoa Puffs. At times like these, Late Nite at Dansbury is supposed to be there for you when you want to eat between 9:00 PM and 1:00 AM.

Late Nite has already been cancelled at least times this semester due to inclement weather.

Additionally, on February 11, all students received an email about the gastrointestinal infection. The email announced that officials temporarily suspended Late Nite service, which did not resume until February 16.

There’s a bigger issue here than Late Nite being cancelled: students’ pricey prepaid meals come with too many limitations. All students who live in campus housing are required to have a meal plan. As a result of this requirement, these residential students cannot eat whenever they want.

There are four meal plans available for students who reside on campus, all for about $1,000 each. For $1,000 per semester, students should be able to eat whenever they please.

However, students are limited to eating three times a day under all weekly meal plans: 19 meals a week, 15 meals a week, and 10 meals a week.

If a student were to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Late Nite would become null and void because it would exceed the three meals per day restriction. I believe that, for a $1,000 required meal plan, students should be able to eat at any time Dansbury is open, which is from 7:00 AM to 1:00 AM on weekdays.

Weekend service is even worse. Breakfast is not offered on the weekends. Instead, brunch is offered to students starting at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Dinner service is offered between 4:30 PM and 6:00 PM.

On the weekends, you can use your extra meal swipe for Late Nite since only two meals are offered throughout the day. And let’s face it; you’ll need it since your last meal was around 6:00 PM.

I once tried to rationalize Dansbury’s poor weekend hours by saying, “It’s probably because a lot of students go home for the weekend,” but that is not an excuse. Students like me who do not usually go home over the weekend still deserve to eat at normal times.

The meal options within Dansbury are insufficient as well. Burgers, fries, chicken patties, pizza, and a mystery meal are all that is offered within Dansbury. For the money we have to pay for meal plans, the menu should be larger and contain a wider range of options.

I am not sure why the university believes that three meals a day of burgers and pizza are enough to satisfy young adults. In between meals at Dansbury, most students like me end up eating off-campus or buying groceries to cook our own meals. Students ultimately pay for the school’s meal plans and additional meals on a regular basis because of Dansbury’s three meals per day cap and their mediocre meals.

Although student prepaid meal plans come with too many limitations, as of right now that’s what we have to work with. So just keep in mind, with Late Nite continuously being cancelled and a limitation of three meals a day, don’t run out of Cocoa Puffs.

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