As a nation of fast food restaurants, the U.S. values productivity and work over making time to eat a proper meal. This is true even here at Framingham State.
Between classes, work and clubs, students today have a lot more on their plates. For many, making it to the Dining Commons in time for breakfast, lunch and dinner is nearly impossible.
We at The Gatepost believe there are many solutions FSU could implement to ensure all students have access to three full and healthy meals every day.
Our first recommendation is to implement a to-go system. If students were able to drop by the Dining Commons and spend 10-15 minutes selecting food to take with them in a to-go box, they would be able to eat a full meal without being late to class or work.
Currently, the Dining Commons does not allow students to take food with them outside of the cafeteria. Some might argue that students would take more food than needed to store in their rooms.
To which we at The Gatepost say, so what? God forbid students have food in their rooms to eat when they get hungry studying at 2 a.m.
It’s a well-known fact that the Dining Commons almost always has an excess of food – so much so that in 2014, Dining Services started donating the leftover food.
According to an October 2015 article in The Gatepost, FSU dining services donated 3,831.3 pounds of food that year.
By allowing students to use to-go boxes, food that normally would go to waste could instead become extra meals for students.
Additionally, in the past, students have been able to use their swipes in the place of money or Ramcash at Sandellas, Toasted and the Rams Den Grille, all of which have longer hours than the Dining Commons.
If FSU brought that program back, many students would be able to grab lunch after their 2:30 p.m. class lets out and the dining commons are closed.
Sure, students can use the Dining Dollars attached to the dining plan for food. However, this is essentially a pre-paid debit card. The more Dining Dollars you want, the fewer meal swipes you get.
By allowing students to use meal swipes in places other than the Dining Commons, they would be able to save money every meal while also keeping the number of swipes they need.
The Dining Commons does have a policy for students who cannot make it to the cafeteria’s open hours due to their schedules. What is currently offered is called Meal Exceptions, which is available to students who have more than 15 hours a week of class, an internship or work that conflicts with the hours of operation, according to the Dining Service’s website.
However, conflicts that include club events or meetings, intramural and varsity athletics or “other non-academic commitments” are not covered by this policy.
In a time when students’ extracurricular activities are vital to expanding their resumes and even just enjoying their time at college, students shouldn’t have to choose between participating in an activity and eating three full meals a day.
It is vital for students to have access to full meals so they can make the best out of their busy days.