Commuters need meal plans too

By Chelsea Mazer

Remember having to pack a lunch, plan ahead and figure out how many different things you would need to get though the school day after eating breakfast at home?

Maybe you packed a sandwich, a few snacks, a drink and a treat for the end of school before you went home.

Realistically, you brought about $5-10 worth of food every day to school depending on what your family had in the house.

Now think about your peers who are commuter students.

They are still likely packing those lunches every day or they are spending that much money if not more on campus so they can eat while at school and stay awake during classes.

Since CPP is such a popular school for commuter students, you would think that there would be a dining option for them.

Well, there isn’t.

According to the CPP Foundation Dining Services website, there are 11 different locations throughout campus grounds that house dining options for people on campus.

Not one of those locations has announced any type of program for commuters to get a meal with a plan or points because those plans are only available to students who live on campus.

Dining plans are a bit restrictive to begin with but they do make a difference in time management throughout a busy day of classes.

As explained on the University Housing website, first-year students who live on campus are given the choice of a 19, 14 or 10 meal a week plan to use at Los Olivos Dining Hall or to “cash-out” a few times throughout the week to eat in other places.

Students living in the Residential Suites can choose a meal point plan equivalent to a certain dollar amount between $759 to $995 per quarter.

Those points are not restricted to any location because the program turns each student’s identification card into a debit-like card.

When the card is swiped to make a points purchase, the remaining balance goes down just like a debit account would.

With all of these options readily available, commuters should be given the opportunity to access a plan that is similar to that of their on-campus peers.

The plan could be put together in the meal point plan format and could be arranged based on which day(s) the student is on campus for classes.

These plans could also be slightly smaller in price range to account for a student’s absence on campus when they are not here for a class.

For example, if a student were only on campus Mondays and Wednesdays, they could choose a plan that best suited their needs for those days during that quarter.

These plans would not only help commuter students save time at home every day but could also prevent wasted money and food out of the student’s personal budget at home.

Colleges should make things easier on their commuters by providing them with an option for a meal plan.

Meal plans can make a difference in time management throughout a busy day of classes

Valerie Mancia / The Poly Post

Meal plans can make a difference in time management throughout a busy day of classes

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