Meal Swipes the Bank Account (Part Two)
By Joey Krassner
I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all witnessed significant changes with on-campus food services since my last article on the meal exchange program at AU. Talking with friends and trying more of the on-campus eateries has still kept me in a state of confusion over the new dining system. At this point it’s difficult for me to come to a consensus over the progress of the new system, however, I’ll illustrate some of my observations over the past two weeks. Many of the on-campus places have increased the number of items that can be purchased using a meal swipe. Create, Wonk Burger, District Pickle, and Build Pizza have all expanded the number of items able to be purchased using a meal swipe, but before you get too excited, let’s examine what they’ve changed.
Starting off with Wonk Burger and District Pickle, both places now allow meal swipes purchases of all sandwiches/burgers. These are the best improvements I’ve seen among the different eateries value-wise since the prices of the sandwiches/burgers comes somewhat close to the benchmark $12 meal swipe.
Create now allows acai bowls to be purchased with a meal swipe. These $7 bowls of frozen acai might intrigue someone who has the palate of a toddler, which based off my experiences eating with a few AU students, shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If you’re truly craving these bowls, just use your eagle bucks or any other form of payment. Finally, we reach Build Pizza, which now allows two toppings on each pizza instead of one topping per meal exchange. While this actually seems like the best bang for your buck, I placed it last simply because it’s funny. Think about it, AU took your concerns of the over usage of blue cheese and turned it into something positive. Two toppings instead of one. How remarkable!
None of the extreme differences between the price of an item and the value of a meal swipe is more notable than at Einstein’s. If I could give any future freshman advice relating to the meal swipe system, hands down I’d say, “Don’t use your swipes at Einstein’s.” I’m no economist, but in what world would paying a $12 meal swipe for a $2 bagel make sense? Unless you’re talking about Venezuela, the answer is none. Maybe I care about students getting the most for their money or maybe it’s the fact that I waited 45 minutes for a turkey wrap today, but for the love of God, please don’t waste your meal swipes on at Einstein’s. Look, this school has a 25% acceptance, which means we should all be capable of knowing how dumb it is use a meal swipe at a location where there’s a 50% you’ll receive the wrong bagel. An important thing to note is during their rush hour period after 12:35 classes, an overworked staff of three is supposed to handle the influx of students. Granted many worked surprisingly well under pressure, but many impatient students (myself included) were forced to wait for extended periods of time as almost everyone around me received their order before mine. I understand I sound like a spoiled brat, but I this has also happened the last few times I’ve gone to Einstein’s, so calling this an isolated event would be wrong.
I think the best way to end this article would be to relay the experiences of my friends at particular eateries on campus, so everyone reading, here are the experiences of real people:
“I waited forty minutes for the workers to find cheese for the pizza, only to get blue cheese pizza.”
“The meal swipe exchange poster said that a meal swipe would include 2 bao and rice, however I received only 1 bao because they misprinted the poster. I was ecstatic to first see the 2 bao for a meal swipe, as all you get with the current meal swipe is one measly bao with rice! That isn’t nearly enough to get anyone full, which is the whole point of getting something with a meal swipe. Getting 2 bao would be perfect as it gets people full and 2 bao is worth the same as other options around the Tavern.”
“I went to the Sushi place and they were out of everything that you could get a meal swipe with, so they gave me frozen noodles instead. I had to throw them out immediately because they were so bad.”