Our view: Don’t let it go to waste

DKS Editors

Fellow undergraduate classmates:

Chances are, if you’re living on campus, you have a meal plan. There’s also a good chance you have a significant chunk of change left on your meal plan. Well, the clock is ticking.

Spend your – or your parent’s – money the last few weeks because unless you have one of the two largest meal plans, the university will pocket your extra meal plan money at the end of the semester. The lite and basic plans roll over from fall to spring but not from year to year. If you have the premier or the premier plus meal plan, you’re in the clear, as long as you plan to purchase the same plan next year.

Be realistic: Even if you do plan on purchasing that same meal plan level, are you really going to need all that extra money when you couldn’t spend the whole meal plan this year?

Dining Services’ meal plans swindle students by placing unreasonable restraints on how students retain that money each semester. In the end, it involves spending more money to keep the old money.

In-state undergraduate students who live on campus are already paying $4,215 for tuition and about $2,445 for housing. You don’t need to be giving the university any more money.

Instead, find some upperclassmen friends and treat them to a lunch at Rosie’s – and maybe dessert. Or have your parents come to Kent to stock up on groceries. Sure, the on-campus convenience store food is drastically overpriced, but it’s better than letting your money go to waste. Sometimes you can even special-order items at the on-campus convenience stores. Check with the individual store managers.

If you’re planning to live off-campus next year, maybe you can stock up on some nonperishable items. (After all, you likely will find that grocery shopping is the bane of your existence.)

You also should consider buying food and donating it to a local charity. Many student organizations and religious groups hold food drives this time of year for that very purpose.

At the end of the year, along with your old books, you can also drop off non-perishable food items in the “Throw and Go” bins in residence halls.

It’s all about making a bad situation good. If every student donated food from leftover meal plan money, think about the difference we could make in Portage County.

In many ways, Kent State exists in its own bubble in Portage County: It’s not very representative of the county’s demographics. This is one way to help those who may not be as fortunate as we are.

It should be a no-brainer: money to the university or money to the needy?

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater’s editorial board.