Students have cried out regarding two specific problems with the food card program, and a response is being made.
The first problem is students in residence being left without access to food services as they are regularly provided over the winter break. Vice President Internal for the Students’ Union, Jill Creasor, said that “This information was on the website, that students did have to sign saying that they read, but let’s be real about how many students would read that one sentence in the middle of a website on the third page.”
Another notable problem that students have been facing recently is running out of funds on their food card. Both the Premium and Value plans are designed to feed an “average eater” up to two meals per day, five days a week, for a total of only ten meals each week. This then leaves students eating on campus more than ten times every week, or students with a larger appetite than what is considered to be “average” in a bind as they start running out of funds on their food card. These students did not expect to run out of money, and therefore have not budgeted money to spend in surplus of the food program that they paid for at the beginning of the year. The only notable difference between the Value and Premium plans was that the Premium plan allocates a certain amount of money which can be spent at SUDS, and if this money is not spent it can then be refunded at the end of the school year.
Creasor is working to give the current program a new face, and introduce a new program that will better cater to the needs of the students on BU’s campus. Creasor describes each of the levels of the new four-tiered program, saying “the largest tier would be the students who are here 7 days a week, for 3 meals a day. A middle tier for the student who skips a meal a day or keeps snacks and other easy foods in their rooms. A College Tier for the ACC students who live in our residence and then finally a Commuter Tier for those students, staff and faculty who eat lunch on campus.” Creasor’s hope is that with the introduction of this new program the marketing and recruitment information for BU Residence will be updated and will then be easier for students and stakeholders to understand. This program also aims to get away from talking about “average meals” as an average meal can be very different from person to person. Rather, this program will reference cost more, and average spending, rather than talk about meal size and appetite.
Creasor said that “We are hoping to have the re-vamp in effect for September 2017,” continuing on to say that this is the perfect time to talk about these changes as the marketing materials and budgets for next year are currently being compiled before they are finalized.
Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 107, Issue 21, February 7th, 2017.