By Jesse Bade (Staff Writer) Students living on campus next semester will be required to purchase a meal plan. This is a change to the previous procedure, which required only freshmen to purchase one of the highest three plans; this will stay in place while the new rule is implemented come September.
Lynda O’Malley, Associate Dean of Students, explained that this action is nothing new. “The requirement is for our undergraduate students,” O’Malley said. “It is very common among many universities…If they’re living here, we have to make sure they have a way to eat.”
According to O’Malley, 97% of the residential student population already has a meal plan and therefore the impact of this rule will not be that large. She also explained the tax advantages to students, stating that they save money with the meal plans because they are not taxed when paying with Hofstra dining dollars.
However, students argued that while O’Malley’s reasons might be reasonable, they feel they didn’t have a voice in this decision.
Freshman Melissa Mentore was disappointed about the lack of student input. “Hofstra is so money hungry,” she said. “We shouldn’t be forced to pay for a meal plan when I’m just here for my education.”
“It’s not cool. Not everyone needs a meal plan so they shouldn’t make it mandatory,” said Myron Mathis, a sophomore. “I understand freshman year because its freshman year you are more than likely going to need a meal plan.”
Mathis went on to say that the previous policy, that after freshman year, residential students should be able to decide whether they would be signed up.
But Jennifer Smulo, a freshman, is not as upset about getting a meal plan for her coming years at Hofstra. “It doesn’t bother me because I was going to get one anyways,” she said. “But I know a lot of people that don’t have one or have a small one. They would probably be upset since they were the people who were planning on not having [one].”