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Meal Swipes Not Accepted at New Eateries on Campus: The Real Reason

*Editor’s note: This article was written by Jordan Roberts.*

Bloomsburg University students pay for meal swipes, yet are limited as to where on campus they can use them.

BU students pay a lot of money for meal swipes, but they are not allowed to use them at the new eateries here on campus. In the 2017 fall semester Bloomsburg added Chick-Fil-A and Qdoba to their list of places to eat on campus. Students were pleased to find out that some variety would be added to their menus. Since these new eateries do not accept meal swipes at all, students are forced to use Flex, Husky Gold, cash or credit/debit.

When Jim McCormack, Associate Director of Residence Life for Administration & Technology at BU, was asked why he said, “size of the location is not large enough to support meal plan holders. Also, if meal plans were accepted, we would not be able to put in a full store and the options to students on meal plans would be reduced to about four meal choices.” He also says another reason the university doesn’t allow meal swipes at these locations is because, “Part of the University’s planning for the two franchises was to allow for a less crowded venue for non-meal plan holders who expressed dissatisfaction with having to wait amongst meal plan holders in busy food service venues.”

McCormack is saying that BU is trying to lower the amount of traffic at the new dining locations so that students are not stuck waiting in long lines, similar an express option. If a student does not feel like using their meal swipe at the Scranton Commons or other places on campus that are high traffic areas, they are more than free to eat at Chick-Fil-A or Qdoba but at a higher cost.

McCormack was then asked why students can use meal swipes at other franchises, such as Subway and Steak N Shake. His response, “The university pushed for meal swipes in those locations at the discomfort of the dining contractor because the cost per meal is higher there than other venues on campus due to mandates on franchise fees, minimum food purchases, food production, and staffing.”

Finally, students have the answer they’ve been searching for. They might not be pleased with the university’s decision, but at least they were transparent with students and gave them a reason.


Edited by: Morgan Lerch