Future meal plan needs flexibility

Everybody has a different appetite.Some people eat like birds, others like lions. Some eat two meals a day, others eat five. Some only settle for greens, others want straight meat and potatoes.

But despite all the diversity, surely there is a way TCU can make everyone – if not, mostly everyone – happy.

Right now, that isn’t the case.

That’s exactly why Dining Services, along with the Student Government Association, is making a good move in re-evaluating the way students’ meal plans are currently set up: It just doesn’t fit enough people’s needs. One new proposed plan revolves around an all-you-can-eat strategy, where students pay a set amount for a meal, then eat to their fill without paying additional amounts for individual items.

Obviously there are flaws with such a theory: some students are content with just an apple and yogurt for lunch, making a five dollar charge for an afternoon-based meal a ridiculous purchase. While it may suit the needs of those who eat like lions, it’s a huge inconvenience for those who snack like birds.

So why don’t we compromise?

It wouldn’t be too difficult to use both the current pay-as-you-go system in conjunction with an all-you-can-eat one. Use Frog Bytes for snack stops – allow the student to determine a starting balance that declines per bought item, just like the current process. The real change could come at The Main, where students could employ a pay-per-meal card that would allow them to enjoy a full meal without having to shell out $14.

While everyone’s on the topic of food plans, let’s take it one step further and allow off-campus dollars into the mix as well. It wouldn’t be anything controversial – several in-state schools allot certain amounts of money for students to use at local restaurants. It’s likely that places like Potbelly and Fuzzy’s would jump at the chance to give more students additional ways to pay for their food.

So why settle for one plan that would only exclude part of the student body? After all, a little compromise could go a long way.

Sports editor Travis Stewart for the editorial board.