BC dining is different from a number of other schools in that it’s a la carte rather than buying all-you-can-eat meals. This is a mixed bag depending on how much you eat. However, the ever-increasing prices for BC’s less than luxurious dining options is hurting its students.
BC students who live in dorms without kitchens, which mostly applies to freshmen, sophomores, and some juniors, are required to have a full $2,200 per semester meal plan. That seems like a lot of money, but BC has ways to make that pot of gold dwindle quite quickly.
A sandwich and drink at Eagle’s Nest or Hillside can cost around ten bucks. Dinners often cost a lot more than that assuming you are eating dinner and not a sandwich, which BC frequently tries to pawn off as a dinner option. The portion sizes aren’t enormous either, and you could run out of money really quickly if you’re constantly going back for seconds.
That’s also not including big luxury items like SmartWater or Odwalla, which go for four and five dollars apiece. Want to eat healthy? Too bad.
The meal plan is sexist because it implies that girls and guys have the same diets. Males are frequently running low on meal plan money when most girls often have several hundred left by the semester’s end. It’s not like there aren’t other situations on campus when girls and guys are separated (Kostka is all girls this year), so why stop it there?
Students are also obligated to finish their meal plan or they will lose the money. BC does offer crates of drinks toward the end of the year, but is that really necessary? Why not give students their money back?
The expensive food prices are also incredibly unappealing to BC’s off campus community. Students can purchase meal plans like the flex plan, which offer free money based on which plan you buy, but the prices become more ridiculous when you’re spending real money to eat on campus.
For instance, a chicken parmesan press sandwich at Eagle’s Nest will run you just about $6.89, yet a chicken parm at the Bluestone Bistro is only $6.75 and comes with fries instead of a pickle. Why, as an off campus student, would I want to pay the same amount of money for mediocre food at school when I could eat at an actual restaurant? Quite frankly, Bluestone’s menu offers better variety than most of BC’s dining, and it’s not like it’s the only off-campus restaurant either. Imagine the possibilities!
I didn’t even mention grocery shopping as an option because the sad part is, you can pretty much spend the same or less amount of money just by eating at restaurants. Factor in a few trips to the Star Market or Trader Joe’s, and you’re looking at eating better food for a fraction of the cost.
I don’t know what’s going on at school that the prices need to be so expensive, but it seems pretty ridiculous that a good number of off-campus restaurants can serve better quality food at the same price. Sure the risk of theft is less likely at a restaurant than on campus, but is the problem really so bad that prices need to be this high? Are students running out of Hillside without paying at such a rampant rate that their well-done cheeseburger needs a couple dollars tacked on? I don’t think so and more importantly I don’t really care.
BC should seriously consider revamping its dining options. Whether it’s a pay-by-meal plan or simply lowering the prices, the system needs a serious revamp. Until then, I’ll just get my food from Bluestone and continue to save money.