Issues Arise with Meal Plan Equivalency


With the excitement of the new options at the Student Center’s Valaida S. Walker Food Court dying down, some students say they are beginning to become increasingly annoyed by the new meal equivalency style and ultimate costs for a meal.

The meal equivalency style of the new meal plans allows students to use between 50 and 55% of their meal swipes at take-out style options on campus. These options include, but are not limited to, Cosi, the Valaida S. Walker Food Court in the Student Center, and Lower Morgan.

This means that the rest of your swipes need to be used at Temple’s two dining halls at Morgan and Johnson and Hardwick halls.

This new change has been criticized for a variety of reasons by students. Some believe that if they pay for the meal plans, they should be able to use their swipes wherever they please. Others believe that this is Temple’s way of encouraging students to go to the dining halls.

Temple Senior Jimmy Williamson says that while he understands why students prefer the previous style, it really comes down to business and profits.

“On a student level, that kinda sucks but I guess on an administrative, it makes sense; it’s just them trying to make more money,” Williamson said.

Another problem is that students find it difficult trying to figure out and choose meals they can actually get at the Student Center food court. Many of the restaurants’ menu prices go over the meal plan equivalency of $8.69. Items that do not go over typically do not include a whole meal or added drink option.

Alyssa Erin, a sophomore, says the menu should be clearer about what can actually be purchased with a meal swipe.

“Because the restaurants in the SAC are placed on a student campus and a college campus, I believe that because it is associated with our meal plan, on the menu it should say like ‘for a meal swipe you can get these items’ and they can have the regular prices next to them,” Erin said.