Macalaster College has informed its on-campus students that starting with the 2015-2016 academic year, double meal swipes will not be offered at the college’s main cafeteria, Cafe Mac.
Per a report from the college’s student newspaper, The Mac Weekly, double meal swipes were a short-lived luxury at Cafe Mac, with students allotted the extra swipe earlier this year. The double meal swipe program was a trial test, and a result of last year’s review of the college’s on-campus dining option.
College officials explain that the initial idea behind the double meal swipe was to provide students with added flexibility, only that’s not how students were using them. Over time, students would use the extra meal swipe to bring a friend into the cafeteria once or twice a week. While it was a minor hiccup when a couple of students used the meal swipe in this way, the problem added up significantly as more students caught on.
The college estimated anywhere from 70 to 100 double meal swipe cafeteria goers at both lunch and dinner every day. Macalaster’s total enrollment is just a shade over 2,000.
To solve the problem, college officials opted for to add five guest passes per student meal plan to be used for family members or visitors into the cafeteria. Accompanying the five guest passes is an additional $50 in flex points.
Macalaster also added a new 150-meal per semester plan — available exclusively to juniors and seniors — that the college hopes will, in part, provide some incentive for older students to live on campus.
As with other universities, the assumption surrounding a meal plan is that the student won’t use all of their swipes, so flex points give students options when dining on campus — whether it’s at a coffee shop for a quick caffeine fix, or for bringing a guest into a campus cafeteria. In the end, double meal swipes drove up the costs for the Macalaster’s cafeteria, which would have also driven up the cost of the student meal plan.