By Amber QalagariColumnist
What's overpriced and sub-standard? On Hofstra’s Campus, we call this Lackmann Culinary Services.
As a freshman, you are mandated to obtain a minimum meal plan of at least $1,750. At first, you think that California Pizza Kitchen tastes like everything that college should, but as you begin to see how quickly your money dwindles after a few Dutch runs that ring up bills of $60 for a box of cereal and an expired Snapple, you start to mature a bit. When sophomore year begins, you decide to give your wallet and digestive system a rest and buy some regular groceries. Not any longer.
Hofstra is now mandating that every resident, regardless of class standing, have a minimum meal plan of $825. Whatever happened to freedom of choice? How can we pay over $50 thousand in tuition and still be told where we can and cannot eat?
How can Hofstra force its students to pay for something they don't want to? As a private university, Hofstra knows that students must follow what it puts into law regardless of disagreement.
While it is true that some other colleges mandate that their students have an on-campus meal plan, students are aware of this before they choose to go to the particular school. Hofstra waking up one morning and deciding that they need to add another bill to our tuition should come with more of a warning. They should at least grandfather the rule so that students who attended Hofstra before this law was passed can opt out of a meal plan.
As if it weren’t bad enough that the university takes so much of our money, it now forces us to spend our stolen cash on exceedingly expensive meals that pose as healthy options.
Hofstra claims to adhere to our dietary needs by offering 18 locations, but it's almost impossible to eat healthily on this campus without taking out additional loans. A banana shouldn't be $1.19. I can go to the local farmers market and get 15 bananas for that price.
The fact that Hofstra has to force its students to buy campus food should say something about its quality. It would be different if the food here were actually good. Frozen vegetables and stone-like bagels are not my ideas of fine dining. A Hofstra meal plan is the most expensive laxative anyone has ever been forced to buy.
As a student who pays for college by myself, I am always conscious of how I spend money. If I can spend a fraction of the to cost to actually eat edible food, why shouldn’t I? There is no incentive to having a meal plan other than having someone prepare my food. Lack of convenience is a small price to pay to avoid decreasing my student debt.