Meal plan should undergo important changes next semester

It’s the season of meal plan sharing and dwindling balances. Before long, the semester will end, a summer will fly by and if you’re lucky, you’ll enter next semester with a rejuvenated meal plan balance.

But the meal plan system, while it has worked for many, could benefit from a couple changes. First off, Topper Tender and meal plan should be combined in the form of one debit card. Also, what is now Topper Tender should include many, many more food choices off campus.

To begin, Topper Tender and meal plan should be combined in the form of one debit card.

The way it is now, meal plan purchasers are lumped with a large amount of meal plan and only a small sum of Topper Tender. This unequal divide is causing students to be left with either too much or too little money to keep them going.

If instead of separate meal plan and Topper Tender we were given a card with a dollar amount on it that we could use to buy anything on and off campus this issue might be solved. Students could then purchase whatever they need with less restriction.

Medicine and school supplies cannot be purchased on meal plan. Many students buy their very expensive textbooks at the bookstore and have Topper Tender left for other school supplies, medicine, cool St. Edward’s University gear and food from a small list of off-campus restaurants.

But all this to say, another changed that meal plan would benefit from is an increase in places students can buy food from.

In an ideal world Topper Tender would get you more than just a rack of subpar ribs at Chili’s. Using Topper Tender off campus is a really great way for students to make sure they use up all of their money. The only way this could be improved would be adding more restaurants and stores to the list.

If the university could strike up some sort of deal with the plethora of businesses that surround this campus, students’ leftover money would go to good use.

Instead, at the moment people are left buying things at the bookstore they don’t need in a mad rush to make good use of their money.

If these restaurants were also close to campus students would be able to get there easily and would be very likely to go there often, which would make it a win-win for both students and local businesses.

If we could use meal plan at Torchy’s Tacos or Home Slice Pizza, students would not be left with hundreds of dollars and only a few weeks left to spend it.

Better yet, imagine if we could use meal plan at HEB. Students could buy actual groceries on their meal plan, perhaps leading them to make healthier decisions. There would be more variety and options available for students and their dietary needs.

Ultimately, we hope these changes are implemented. By combining Topper Tender and meal plan in the form of one debit card and also giving students the ability to purchase food from more places off campus, St. Edward’s students will be much happier.

As we all know, student happiness goes a long way. When students are happy, the university as a whole benefits.