Cut guest swipes for meal plans

Sodexo managers do not allow students to share meal swipes with friends. Those hosting a friend for a meal must use a guest meal swipe rather than one of their own swipes.

When students sign up for a meal plan, the contract states that meal swipes are for personal use only. Sodexo General Manager Kevin Dicey said that parents pay for their child’s meal plans. These parents do not want their children spending their meals on other people.

This statement is a generalization. Not all students have meal plans paid for by outside sources — many pay their own way. Thus, to share or not to share in those cases should be up to the student. Even if parents do not want their child to share swipes, it is up to that parent and child to make sure that does not happen; it is not the company’s responsibility.

Furthermore, the nature of meal swipes is that they are, in most cases,  finite and non-refundable. Meals go unused at the semester’s end, but, instead of allowing customers to use their purchases as they wish, they are forced to forfeit them.

To solve the problem, we propose that Sodexo managers remove guest swipes entirely and allow normal meals to be used on others. Dicey himself admitted that no one has complained about swipe-sharing, likely because parents prefer prepaid meals be used on someone than go unused.

For unlimited plans, perhaps guest meals should be kept on in order to keep track of swipe-sharing. Such plans should, however, come with more guest swipes to accommodate more sharing swipes. This way, sharing swipes is kept in check, but students can bring commuter friends, for example, to eat in the cafeteria.

If students’ meals must be confined to their own use, they should be reimbursed when left unused. It is unfair that residential students are required to buy a plan, but then are restricted on how to use it and not given their money back if they can’t use it.

We understand that, for now, students have agreed not to share swipes. In the future, however, Sodexo managers should eliminate guest swipes in the cases of all meal plans except with regard to the unlimited plan, in which case guest swipes should be more numerous.