The Collegian
Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Where do they go?

Richmond College '11

It seems that sooner or later each student here has found out the hard way that you can only swipe twice per meal period. General consensus leaves this at one of the dumbest policies possible. I don't disagree. I also don't care.

I can never use up my meal swipes anyway, even last year with Sunday binges. But this question haunts me: Where do they go? I paid for my swipes, and yet each week, somewhere between three and 10 of them dissolve, never to be heard from again. Didn't I pay money for those? Isn't it out there somewhere? I can only assume that each dining service balances its own budget, using the money they took in from swipes I did use, and maybe they each just get a proportional cut of my floating money. Maybe they depend on that money. That would be fine by me, but I still couldn't get excited about it.

The cynic in me says the guy who makes meal plan policy, with it's outrageously high number of meals even on the cheapest plan, has found a way to funnel those extra swipes back to himself as a nice little perk of the job, and this year's "two-swipe mealtimes" policy is designed to fatten that payoff.

In either of those two situations, I still feel wasteful at the end of the week. So, in the spirit of self interest, can we actually do something with those wasted swipes? I don't even care if I don't get that money back, as I never expected to see it again anyway. What about putting it into a fund that gives a Christmas bonus to all those who serve us over the year? The conflict of interest there is a little too blatant, but I think I trust the lunch lady's honesty. What about dedicating that extra money to a community service project in Richmond? A charity voted on by the student population? Everyone loves an environmental effort (except Michael Rogers), maybe something along the green lines? A fund for the Campus Activities Board?

Or a statue of Yoda to stare across at Mr. Robins? Maybe a more water-efficient system that does not sprinkle the lawn when it's raining?

Just give me something tangible, something I can see, feel, or track, so I can keep in touch with my lost swipes. I want to feel good about being wasteful.

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