New College Meal Plan Helping or Hurting Students Pockets

By Fabrizio Salerno

Suffolk County Community College is one of the top community colleges in New York State where students can go and get a good education at an affordable price. Many students feel that getting all the normal classes out of the way at a community college is not only the best way to go but the smart way.

In recent years Suffolk has increased their tuition and many students have been on high alert about what they are being charged for. Some students know about the charges on their bill that are little and hidden like lab fees but most don’t know about the newest charge the meal plan. As of this school year, Suffolk is charging a $100 fee for students to use their so called state of the art new cafeteria. What caused concern is that many students come to class and go home so why should they be charged to eat in the cafeteria when they don’t have time to?300px-Suffolk-community-college-campus

Kyle Anderson, who had no prior knowledge about the meal plan was in awe about this. “So I am getting charged $200 a year for something that I am never getting to use”? Yes Kyle, the school is charging you for something that you never knew about. Anderson does what at least 80% of the students on campus do, he goes to class and goes home. “That is what a community college is for, you go to class, handle your business and go home”. “I do not need to be wasting my money in the café when I could just have food from home”.

Mr. Anderson is right, and with that being said, students should have a choice about this meal plan. If you are only here for class, then why waste $100 on something like this. The college should give everyone a choice whether to opt in or out of the meal. Pam Beasley who also attends the college is a big fan of the meal plan. “It is awesome knowing that I can just wake up and go to class and know that if I get hungry, I could just stop by the café and get a little something to eat”. “I don’t have to worry about packing enough food to last throughout the day since I have a prepaid meal plan”. Sounds like a committed customer to the food services

Sure it can come in handy but students believe that they should have a choice because they know what is right for their body. Robert Prokopiak, who is one of the managers that over sees the dining services at Suffolk Community College, states “Our offerings include a number of new dining options on the Ammerman Campus, including new national brands, convenience locations, and quality menus items”.  The new services are well done by the college but many students don’t use the Cafe on a regular basis.
. He kindly declined our request to get answers on our comments about the meal plan. Looks like the meal plan is a lock and nothing is going to cause it to go away but the students who pay the most out of the 3 parties related to the college should have a choice. The students are not even aware of the situation like Kevin Cruz. Cruz said that he has been on the campus since the meal plan became in effect and had no clue. “So your telling me I have $200 to spend on the café food, and I had no idea”. “Why can’t I just cash out my $200 because I’m not going to use it and I’m not wasting my money eating random food.

The college believes that this is what the students have been waiting for since they spent so much money on the cafeteria last year. So you can say that the college caught up with the students and made sure that every student enjoyed the food services. Sometimes the meal plan comes in handy but you should have a choice to either opt in to it or better yet the money you don’t use on it, gets sent right back to your pocket.

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