Alhi Leconte/ Contributing Writer
FIU makes meal plans mandatory for students living in Panther Hall and Lakeview North and South, but are they really worth it?
While some students may find it convenient to include a meal plan with their housing, others might not feel the same. There may be students, like me, who would prefer living in Panther Hall or Lakeview if they would be able to opt out of the required meal plan. The meal plan mandatory dorms are not only nicer than a few other dorms on campus, but the room rates would also be the least expensive if the meal plans were optional. These mandatory meal plans just makes it seem like the university is trying to reach a certain quota of meal plan purchases instead of trying to make life easier and more affordable for students.
While the meal plans offered at FIU do give you dining dollars that can be used in all the various restaurants on campus, the Fresh Food Company is where the majority of students who live on campus go to cash in their meal plans.
But, even though the Fresh Food Company is a buffet, the different food options available to students is actually pretty limiting. While there are six different food stations set up buffet style, seven out of 10 times I go to Fresh Foods, the food is the same and while it does sometime change, it’s not often.
Also, while the food offered at Fresh Foods is said to be quality food, this may not always be the case and may make students feel like they’ve been ripped off. From personal experience, the meat and fish has been overcooked and undercooked on many occasions and the food is not always flavorful.
While their food may not always be the most diverse, Fresh is open for a reasonable amount of time throughout the week. Monday through Thursday they are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., but they do close earlier on Fridays and weekends. On Fridays, Fresh is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
There are four different mandatory meal plan options and students could potentially save $1,899 to $2,099 if they weren’t required to purchase them. The way I see it, meal plans can only save you money if you’re unable to properly budget your money for meals throughout the day or are unable to buy groceries to cook if your dorms have kitchens.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.
Photo taken from Flickr.