Letters to the Editor

No matter where you eat, the meal plan is a rip off

Recently, many students have been demanding meal equivalency for the Block plans. That is, they want to be able to convert a meal into 6.60 Wildcat Points, as one could last year. Although this is useful, it misses the real ripoff in the meal plan: You don’t get enough meals and points for what you pay.

I’m not talking about the general quality of meals. I am talking about the contract price versus the price for cash customers. This fall, I am paying $1,137 for Block Plan B, which includes 70 meals and 323 Wildcat Points. A Wildcat Point is worth $1 at a la carte locations, so each of the 70 meals costs $11.63. But if you go to a dining hall and pay in cash, the most expensive meal, dinner, is only $8.50. Even if the meal equivalency of 6.60 points is restored, I’d still pay $11.63 for a meal worth only $6.60.

This means you lose at least $219 on the meal plan. If you use your meals to buy lunch or breakfast or a meal equivalency at Willie’s, you would lose even more because those meals have a lower cash value. This is a lot of money, whether it is your money, your parents’ money or the taxpayers’ money (for those of you on financial aid).

Some might ask why not go on a Traditional or Unlimited plan, since those are relatively good values. (For the 13 meal-per-week traditional plan, you pay only $7.06 per meal if you use every meal.) But I know that I will not eat 13 meals a week in the dining halls. I probably will eat around 8 or 10 per week, and I would like more points to use at Willie’s, because I enjoy eating there.

I am not asking for meal equivalencies to return. In fact, I would prefer that it does not. Instead I ask that SodexhoUSA do one of two things: fill the Block plans with the proper allocation of meals and points or allow students to opt out of the meal plan and get a refund or put the money into a Munch Money account or something that has dollar-to-dollar value. I greatly would appreciate saving $200 per quarter, and I imagine others would as well.

Jonathan Hodges

McCormick junior

Evanston residents need to grow up about partying

As a senior at NU who lives off campus and has thrown two parties, let me say that I recently have seen increased animosity toward students. We have warned our neighbors before our parties and provided phone numbers so they could contact us if they thought we were out of line.

Our neighbors have answered these goodwill gestures with a physically threatening, screaming rampage (ironically enough, because he thought we were loud); anonymous threatening letters; an anonymous, mob-style voicemail threat; police threats; Interfraternity Council threats, and an accusatory police visit for “I-didn’t-see-who-did-it-so-it-must-have-been-them” vandalism that occurred more than a week after our parties. To this day, a neighbor or two still confront us.

So here’s one adult to others: Act your age, and move on. We apologize for the one night we were loud and have been punished already by having to pay a fine. If you’re not satisfied with that, go to therapy, because I don’t care anymore.

John Cihocki

McCormick senior

Maybe profs should publicly evaluate wayward students

As someone who does everything short of bribery to get students to fill out course evaluations, I read Erica Futterman’s Thursday story about MyProfessorSucks.com with interest.