Editorial: Students with meal plans should use as they wish


Trying to swipe a friend through in the dining halls is a fairly common experience. Perhaps, if you are a student who has a meal plan, you’ve tried it yourself.

Perhaps you’ve been told no.

You see, all meal plans come with five guest passes per semester, with which you can treat a friend or family member according to CampusDish, Baylor’s website for dining hall services. However, try to use any more than five, and you’ll be turned down (in theory). Your guest will have to pay for their own meal, or, if you’re feeling generous, you can pay for it yourself, but not using your meal plan.

Why not?

If you want to take your best friend to dinner at Collins Dining Hall, you should be allowed to use meals from your meal plan if you do not need them for yourself. Otherwise, this meal could be wasted, a meal that you’ve already paid for.


Well, if you’ve purchased a meal plan with a set number of meals, if you don’t use all of the meals in the time allotted, they expire and you cannot claim them.

This is the case in all meal plan options available but for one: the Unlimited. Because the Unlimited is a special case in which unlimited meals are offered at any time during the semester, the Unlimited should be considered an exception. Students who buy this meal plan should not be allowed to use these meals for anyone but themselves, as otherwise they could invite the whole community in to dine; a noble aspiration, but a terrible business model – and an impossible one.

However, if a student has purchased a limited meal plan and has an extra meal to spare, they should be allowed to use their allotted meals as they see fit, rather than only for themselves. They have already paid for the meal, and if they don’t use it in the time allotted, they will have spent money on nothing, essentially wasting it. Why not offer a friend or coworker dinner on you if the meal is going to waste anyway?

Let’s break it down:

There are several meal plan options available. If you are a freshman or a Resident of Brooks Residential College, you are required to buy a meal plan, meaning you must choose from several plans. These options range in price from $ 1,992.05 per semester to 2589.34.

Meal plans are divided into two categories: block plans and weekly plans. The weekly plans feature a limited number of meals that must be consumed weekly or they expire. Meals from weekly plans do not roll over; if the meal isn’t consumed by week’s end, you lose it.

The block plans feature a set number of meals that may be used at any time throughout the semester, although they expire once the semester is over.

There is no refund available for meals not eaten. It is wrong that a service you have paid in advance for should be denied to you.

This policy takes advantage of students, who, in trying to find the money for tuition, room and board, may already be struggling and should not have to waste money because of frivolous restrictions in meal plan allowances.

Students and others who have purchased limited meal plans should get exactly what they pay for: a set number of meals that expire in a given period, regardless of who is doing the eating.