A Protest Worth Getting Behind?

“The closest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” goes the old saying. The same apparently holds true for Dartmouth students. There’s to be a protest today over the proposed changes to dining plans.

Do you like picking up a snack at Foco and paying only for what you eat?
Do you enjoy meeting up with friends in the dining hall without having to buy a meal?
Do you appreciate the simplicity of a meal plan that uses the same account at Thayer, the Hop, and Collis?

The new “SmartChoice” meal plans take away all of this and more. Among the six Ivies that offer multiple meal plans, Dartmouth will soon mandate that you spend the most money for the least amount of food.

The OLD minimum and full plans range from $3,675-$4,200 per year.
The NEW minimum and full plans range from $4,320-$4,974 per year.

The OLD plan deducts purchases a la carte and rolls over each term.
The NEW plan has a fixed number of weekly meals and does NOT roll over at all.

Want to do something about this? Come protest at 2:30 P.M. in front of the Hop and bring questions to the open faculty meeting afterward. Last year the employee union demonstrated here and they just got a raise!

Also, help with poster making in Robo during 12s.

Sources for 6 Ivies with multiple meal plans:
Dartmouth $4,320-$4,974 per year
https://www.dartmouth.edu/dining/dds/smartchoice.html
UPenn $4,287 per year
http://www.cafebonappetit.com/penn/diningplans/firstyear/
Cornell $4,270-$6,220 per year
http://housing.cornell.edu/campuslife/dining/options.cfm
Brown $3,244-$4,158 per year
http://www.brown.edu/Student_Services/Food_Services/mealplans/index.php
Princeton $3,010-$5,473 per year
http://www.princeton.edu/facilities/info/dining/files/next-year-prices.pdf
Columbia $1,890-$4,440 per year
http://www.dining.columbia.edu/docs/meal-plans-flex/plans.html

I’d like to point out how silly some of this. While I’m not a fan of getting less for more money in any circumstance, where were these people when the tuition hikes were announced? Can we have a protest about that? Ideally, these folks would be protesting DDS and its monopolistic and protectionist practices in general, not just the new meal plans. I also love the irony of the e-mail extolling the virtues of protesting because the staff got a raise. Maybe if the staff didn’t get a raise, we wouldn’t be dealing with an asinine dining plan. The general theme of these students seems to be that they want more–more staff, more benefits, more food–but without any rising costs. I can’t help but wonder when people will wake up and realize there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

A man can dream, I suppose.

Sterling C. Beard