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(The Takeout)   This just in: college kids will job their meal plans   (thetakeout.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, James Madison University, Food, campus meal plans, Eating, redeemable food option, style distribution plan, soft serve, dining hall  
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981 clicks; posted to Food » on 14 Sep 2021 at 3:35 PM (12 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



Voting Results (Funniest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

 
2021-09-14 4:29:57 PM  
9 votes:
smbc-comics.comView Full Size
 
2021-09-14 11:18:34 AM  
6 votes:
Swiper, no swiping.
 
2021-09-14 5:25:50 PM  
3 votes:
When I was at Carnegie Mellon, all freshmen were required to be on the meal plan. Bring Tupperware. The food really wasn't bad.
 
2021-09-15 6:50:32 AM  
3 votes:

tintar: also, pffft, these kids are amachoors, pikers even. this is how dining hall thievery has "progressed" in the last 30 years? I weep, seriously weep, for the abject stupidity of our childrens.

one of my friends started out by thefting dining hall chairs (quite a feat, since the only way to leave the dorm* was past the security guard booth) - and then graduated on to stealing entire tables. remarkable man, that guy.

me, the worst I ever did was attempting boxes of cereal into backpack (meh, got caught) but also those times I got all those noodle soup Japanese fancy bowls plus an entire table's worth of half-decent flatware.

our plans were, you had both "meals" and "points", either way was AYCE and swiping your ID let you in for as long as you wanted. so we kind of scheduled classes around that lol, or even skipped classes and just live in the meal hall all day and stuff your face whilst doing coursework. and yeah you could also swipe a friend in when you were feeling generous.

*look, we were lucky and lived in 's Deutsche Haus brownstone down the street, not the horrible dormitory towers (REM even mentioned one building in a song, ha!) where the cafes were based.


My brother recently retired from 45 years teaching at uni, or as he describes it:  90 semesters.  His cadre of grad students over the years developed such a reputation that his lab was nicknamed "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves."  He said the worst incident was when he went into his grad students' common area and there was a brand new departmental office conference table and 12 chairs.  It had been intercepted on the way to another department in the building.  He took one look, told them to put it all back, and left.
 
2021-09-14 5:56:01 PM  
2 votes:
Many years ago, there were a few tiers of meal plans for people in the dorms.  The plan that made the most sense to me was the "13 meals per week" plan.  This meant I usually ate lunch in the cafeteria every day and dinner there every day that wasn't Sunday.  At least once a week, they'd have grilled ham and cheese sandwiches available for lunch.  This was probably unhealthy but was also delicious.  They always had a couple of tables full of matzoh and other stuff made without yeast set out for Passover as well.[0]

All the dorm cafeterias were closed Sunday night for some reason, but this was never a huge problem as there were a ton of restaurants within walking distance.  Breakfast was easy to do without the cafeteria at all, just stash a half-gallon of milk in the dorm fridge[1] and pair some with a box of cereal.

A guy in my KoL clan in 2018 said that things are worse now, because every dorm resident is required to buy a meal plan, and the quality's not great.  Getting a meal plan at all was optional back in the 1990s.  So if you had access to a friend's kitchen or lots of money to spend at restaurants, it was possible to never spend money at the cafeteria.

[0] Lots of Jews attend U of M.  An acquaintance said she eventually changed her religion from "Jewish" to "Druid" in the university's system so that people from Hillel would stop bothering her.
[1] Most of the fridge space was taken up by rum, vodak, and schnapps though.  Priorities, people!
 
2021-09-14 7:50:55 PM  
2 votes:
I might have been spoiled, but I went to a college with a work program so every resident student worked for their room and board. I went to the cafeteria when it was open and ate. So did everyone else there. The only time they did any kind of rationing were the occasional steak nights, but at a college with tons of vegetarians, there were still multiple steaks to be had.

We had the hot food line, salad bar, soup bar, cereal bar, waffle bar, and ice cream available for every meal with the possible exception of breakfast- never got up early enough to go to breakfast. The few times I was there for breakfast was because I was still up and most certainly seeing things with an altered perspective.

I got pretty fat in college.
 
2021-09-14 10:44:41 PM  
2 votes:

OtherLittleGuy: Back in the day, you had to buy a meal plan with X meals, all courses, prepaid, with no refund or rebate. You'd bring in classmates without plans and other outsiders just to use up the plan without any waste.

Did they actually switch to a "pay as you go" system?


When I spent a summer in a NSF program, the college had a fixed price per meal setup.  I'd round out my meals with packaged desserts and take them home on the weekends. At least the ones my roommate hadn't ripped off. Second week, I brought a locking suitcase back.

The short order cook was a riot.  Pampered kids would describe in detail exactly how they wanted their breakfast eggs. The cook would hold up two fingers and say "One or two. Up or over."
 
2021-09-15 7:21:20 AM  
2 votes:
"The greatest hack me and my friends would do with meal plans is sneak each other into dining halls. One of my friends had a meal plan, and the rest of us didn't. The one with the meal plan would swipe in and then the rest of us would stand at the emergency exit and they would let us in one by one...."

I guess "hack" just means theft now? Like...is sneaking in the back door of a movie theater a "hack"?
 
2021-09-14 3:23:51 PM  
1 vote:

OtherLittleGuy: Back in the day, you had to buy a meal plan with X meals, all courses, prepaid, with no refund or rebate. You'd bring in classmates without plans and other outsiders just to use up the plan without any waste.

Did they actually switch to a "pay as you go" system?


My freshman year (2004-05), we had some weird plan where you got three plan swipes a day, every day. But breakfast HAD to be used before 11, lunch HAD to be used before 3, and dinner HAD to be used before the last on-campus dining option closed at like 11 PM. So if you farked up and ate a late lunch where they swiped your card at 3:01, you couldn't get dinner on the main part of your meal plan, and had to use some of your declining balance meal dollars, which is even less of a big deal than it sounds.

The next year or so, they switched to "3 swipes a day, use them whenever." By my senior year they actually opened up a sit-down steak restaurant that costs 2 meal plan swipes. By this time I was no longer on a meal plan and just cooking food from the Aldi off-campus.

/Yeah, it was a fancy-pants private college that I'm still paying for.
 
2021-09-14 4:21:10 PM  
1 vote:
Started college in 1999. The only meal plan offered, I believe, was all you can eat, transferable to any dining hall on campus. So we'd shop the weekly menus for the various dorms and plan accordingly. The food still usually kinda sucked.

One hall offered paninis every Wednesday for lunch. Basically build your own and take it to the staff operating the press. Those were actually really farking good, but the whole damn campus knew it, so you had to allocate an extra 30-40 minutes of waiting in line. We'd even see faculty wander in for those pretty regularly.

Finally got into an old extended stay motel that'd been absorbed into the dorm system, and dropped the meal plan in favor of the kitchenette + the incredibly cheap Thai place down the street.
 
2021-09-14 4:26:59 PM  
1 vote:
At my school you had to swipe your ID card. Usually the student posted to make sure everyone swiped in was bored and distracted and never even glanced at your face, let alone the photo on the card, but every once in a while there was an adult (in this context there's still a distinction even though nearly everyone's over 18) in the chair and you'd better hope you hadn't borrowed your friend's ID to help them use up their plan that day. Our food was really good in the all you can eat per swipe cafeterias, and there was also a takeout model where you got a certain number of points per swipe to use for sandwiches and convenience store type food (the individual pizzas were so very mediocre and so very beloved, the prepackaged sandwiches were terrible, but both far outshone the grape jelly uncrustables). I developed an undying love for Little Debbie oatmeal cream pies thanks to the latter.

I don't think most people felt the need to sneak food out, I think the smallest meal plan you could get was 10 swipes per week and that's pretty decent if you can make it to the grocery store for a box of granola bars occasionally, but my friends all valiantly banded together to sneak me sandwiches and instant oatmeal packets when I was in bed with mono for two weeks. Good times, I guess.

/I miss the catfish nuggets, smiley fries, and seasoned fries on about the same level as I miss the extensive salad bar with two kinds of hummus. Equal opportunity glutton.
 
2021-09-14 8:46:39 PM  
1 vote:
I spent my scholarship to get in the private dorm because when I had been at debate camp they had some of the best food in the country.

Then my Freshman year they farmed it out to Aramark.
 
2021-09-15 4:49:29 AM  
1 vote:
also, pffft, these kids are amachoors, pikers even. this is how dining hall thievery has "progressed" in the last 30 years? I weep, seriously weep, for the abject stupidity of our childrens.

one of my friends started out by thefting dining hall chairs (quite a feat, since the only way to leave the dorm* was past the security guard booth) - and then graduated on to stealing entire tables. remarkable man, that guy.

me, the worst I ever did was attempting boxes of cereal into backpack (meh, got caught) but also those times I got all those noodle soup Japanese fancy bowls plus an entire table's worth of half-decent flatware.

our plans were, you had both "meals" and "points", either way was AYCE and swiping your ID let you in for as long as you wanted. so we kind of scheduled classes around that lol, or even skipped classes and just live in the meal hall all day and stuff your face whilst doing coursework. and yeah you could also swipe a friend in when you were feeling generous.

*look, we were lucky and lived in 's Deutsche Haus brownstone down the street, not the horrible dormitory towers (REM even mentioned one building in a song, ha!) where the cafes were based.
 
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