Shepherdstown, W.Va., – Students at Shepherd University feel they are underserved meals compared to the cost that they pay for meals. I went around and spoke with students and staff at Riverside about their feelings on the shortage of food per meal swipe.
Some Quick Math
A common plan that Shepherd University provides, the flex 14-meal plan offers fewer than three meals a day (14 meals a week) but also gives $115 dining dollars, which can be used within the food service buildings.
When doing the next portion of math, I tried to use higher numbers to be more accurate. So, I took the number of days in a semester, 75, and I multiplied that by $5, assuming that each meal would cost around $5 to make.
After multiplying that, I got $375. I took that money and I multiplied it by three meals a day (not provided with this meal plan) and that took the cost to $1,125, plus the dining dollars makes it $1,240. This meal plan was approximately $2,119 so that leaves $879 or more.
Where is that leftover money going? Why are we limited on our food when there is all that extra money given to the school?
I asked people their thoughts on the dining arrangements around the college dorms and how they feel about the food services on campus.
One anonymous person said that they felt they were paying way too much for the food given for what they are receiving in return. This student said, “not only do we get small amounts of food for a large price, but we also don’t get that big of a variety.” They also noted that they are also pretty much eating the same thing daily.
Another student said that they wish there was a, “smaller meal plan that they could’ve purchased because this one didn’t provide for them anyway and thought that it would be way more cost efficient to not even have one in general.”
When asked, “why do you serve so little sides with your meals?” one worker replied, “I just do what I’m told and that is what I was told to do.”
Another server noted, “they don’t have the money to provide sides other than chips or fries with specific meals.”
I am still here to wonder, what is happening to that extra money? And is a meal plan even worth it?
There is not true way to figure out what’s happening here on campus. The staff and students do not have the means to know. This is a problem here on campus that upsets students and confuses them. Where is the money going? And why is it not going into helping provide full and filling meals? Or going into providing more variety within the meals, such as fruits, vegetables, or other sides?