The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Stop requiring students to buy meal plans


I guess I’ll try to return the cookbooks gifted to me at the beginning of this semester. I have no use for them and, frankly, could use the extra money. 

I would not be struggling so badly financially if I was not presented with the never-ending battle of choosing whether or not to spend the money I don’t have to cook at home or use my dreaded meal plan. 

Students should not be forced to make such a decision. Meal plans do not need to be mandatory, definitely not for students living in apartments with full kitchens. 

We spend so much money on meal plans we cannot afford to cook. It is simply unfair and a waste of money.

It is understandable for grade-school students to have to be fed a lunch each day because they are not very mature and need to be looked after. 

But college students are not children and do not need to be treated as such. 

I should be trusted to feed myself and budget my own money to do so how I please. 

ULM forces me to purchase a meal plan regardless of where I live on campus. I moved from University Commons into Bayou Village Apartments, hoping to be able to cook and plan my meals. After all, we are given a kitchen for a reason. I’d like to get to use it.

ULM does offer the cheapest of all on-campus meal plans to those living in the apartments, but there is nothing cheap about $1,095 a semester. 

You cannot even buy ingredients to make a few quesadillas without spending $20 or more. If I try to make an actual healthy meal for my week, it costs at least $40. That adds up. 

And I am already spending $1K on a meal plan I’d rather not even have, leaving me with little to no money left over to buy my own chosen groceries. 

I am working an on-campus job and have maxed out my financial aid this year, and I still cannot afford much of my needs, let alone save some money that I have to have to pay for my summer rotations. 

Having the money I spent on meal plans would drastically help me out. I could use that money to budget for healthy home-cooked meals I actually would want to spend my money on. 

I did the math, and I could spend that money on seven months of groceries. And a semester is only four months long. 

Trust students with the choice and stop taking our money unnecessarily. 

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