Let students spend dinning dollars off-campus

Reagan Ketchum

reketchum@ursinus.edu

Ursinus needs to implement a dining dollar plan where local restaurants accept our school’s dining dollars to give the students more options other than lower and upper Wismer.

Throughout my two and a half years, I have adapted to the food of upper and lower Wismer, but as I get older, my taste buds adapt as well. What started off as delightful and tasty has turned to average and “is it worth it?” We need to expand the options of our school’s dining. This has been a reoccurring conversation amongst me and my peers and I know that we are not the only ones. Although it may be a hard thing to set up, the school would benefit from this, because more students would be interested in coming here.

By advertising local restaurants and promoting them, it will also bring in more money to the surrounding Collegeville area. For me personally, Wismer is a one-time thing on the weekends. I usually go to restaurants around the area getting food that I prefer, rather than going to Wismer and eating the same old things. It burns a hole in my pocket, which stinks, because I have so many unused dining dollars that could be spent.

Other students have also grown tired of the same food every day. Senior Tim Miller reached a similar conclusion. He said, “I think that would be awesome, I know it would be hard to get the major franchises on board but places like the Collegeville Diner, Rocco’s, Marzella’s, Jasmines etc. I think could benefit from the opportunity. I think the student body would also be pumped about the situation too.”

The thing that gets old with Wismer is when it is the same options day in and day out. For example, for the first at least two months of school they had grilled cheese what seemed like every single day for lunch and sometimes dinner. Along with that they had an Asian dish and a meat or fish of some sort. The repetition of these meals gets tough.

Another flaw of Wismer is the cooking process. Lots of times when they have a popular meal, for example General Tso’s chicken, they rush and don’t put time into cooking it. So this to-die-for meal has simply turned into a meal that you can do without. I understand that they need to make food for the entire student body but if they had the opportunity to make food for about three-fourths of the student body the food would be that much better, because they wouldn’t need to mass-produce as much.

Time and time again at the end of the semester I will check to see my dining dollars’ plan and see how much money I have remaining, and the number is massive. For example, with three weeks left in this semester I have about 500 dining dollars remaining. Instead of trying to spend that money in Wismer and Lower Wismer and the school C-Store it would be nice to get away and have a nice well-cooked meal. It would make life less stressful instead of standing in the Wismer lines for a grilled cheese.

I also strongly believe that this plan could and would help student athletes. Throughout the seasons there are times when teams practice late and can’t eat until 8-8:30 at night and the remaining food at Wismer doesn’t satisfy athletes’ needs. By having this plan, student athletes could get off campus and get a full, well-cooked entree for themselves instead of picking at the remains of the pork in Wismer.

I hold no grudge against Wismer employees. I understand that they have a stressful job trying to produce food for the entire student body. But, by switching to a plan that would help local restaurants and help students expand their culinary desires, I think the situation would really improve.