Expand the Meal Plan

Oregon State University encourages you to purchase a meal plan by giving you a discount at all of their on campus dining halls. But, you can not use your meal plan money at every food stop on campus. This can be confusing to first-year students who don’t know anything about Oregon State. They could go to somewhere like Java II and try to use their meal plan to pay for it only to find out that they have to either use Orange Cash or real money. All of the other restaurants that you can find in OSU’s Memorial Union are also not covered by the meal plan So, to fix this problem, OSU could expand what their meal plan covers.








Currently, the only places that are covered by the meal plan are all they major dining halls(West, Arnold, and McNary) and Bing’s at Weatherford Hall. To expand this, they could have all of the restaurants that can be found on campus covered by the meal plan. This would give on-campus students more variety in the places that they could go to eat at. This would also give the meal plan more value cause you can eat at real food places like Panda Express and Togos. The volume of students that purchase a meal plan would also increase. This would help both OSU and all of OSU’s students. First year students that are required to buy a meal plan wouldn’t feel like they are limited by the food that is served by the three main dining halls. OSU would then benefit because increasing the selection of food means that it will attract more students to purchase a meal plan and also it would increase the amount that first-year on campus students would purchase so that they could eat more of their meals on campus versus having to go off campus for some of their meals on the weekends.

Expanding the meal plan would not only help the students of Oregon State University but it would also help Oregon State university as a whole by giving students more variety in what is covered and by giving more money to OSU.

Is Your Meal Plan Worth It?

Oregon State University encourages all students to purchase a meal plan by selling to them that they have quality food and service. Also, it is quick and convenient for students because the food is readily available during most times of the day. But is the meal plan truly worth the large price that you have to pay? I don’t think so.

I was shopping at Winco Foods last week and I came across this half pound Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and it caught my eye because I had never seen one that big before. So, then I looked at the price of it and it cost $10.00 which is pretty expense for candy.  I then wondered what the price of this same item would be at in Cascadia Market which is location inside of the International Living-Learnig Center. I went to check and this same item would cost a student $22.00 at an on campus market. The price difference of $12.00 is substantially high just to purchase this item with your meal plan.

West dining hall has a restaurant in it call Tomasillos which is an Italian restaurant which serves pizza and pasta. Since I make past every week I wanted to compare the quantity of food between buying everything you need to make pasta at the grocery store vs purchasing it at Tomasillos. At Tomasillos, their pasta is $6.00 and you get one serving of pasta. At Winco, it costs $12.50 to buy everything that you would need to make pasta for example, noodles, sauce and meat. This amount of pasta normally makes about five to six servings of food. In contrast to the pasta that you can get on campus, buying pasta and making from the grocery store and making it yourself would yield you four to five more serving than buying it on campus would.

Trying to buy protein on campus is also very expensive. Below I have two picture of shrimp. One is from Cascadia Market and this other is the usual one I purchase from Winco.

On the right, you can see that shrimp from Cascadia costs $6.15. In the carton, it looks like there is a maximum amount of about 15 shrimp. On top is the shrimp that I purchase from Winco Foods. This bag of shrimp costs around $3.00. In comparison, you get about 60 to 70 more pieces of shrimp. The difference between the pricing of these two items and the quantity of food you get in this example is truly shocking.

After looking at three specific examples of the cost of food on campus between the food off campus, I do not think that purchasing a meal plan is worth it. Buying food off campus is not only cheaper but you get much more food than you would if you purchase it on campus.

To fix this problem, Oregon State could lower the prices of the food that they have on campus or they could start giving students more food because I think that the price of shrimp compared to how much shrimp you get is just unreasonable especially for first-year students living in the residence halls that are trying to make their meals.