Short Answer

by The Dartmouth Opinion Staff | 3/6/11 11:00pm

Friday's Verbum Ultimum discussed recently announced changes to the College's dining plan options. What would your ideal campus dining system look like?

The ideal system would allow students eating at the Class of 1953 Commons to choose at the register whether they would like to pay a fixed price or use a la carte pricing. In addition, there should be no specified number of meals per week that a student is forced to eat at '53 Commons rather, the system should simply mirror the Homeplate brunch system, where the fixed all-you-can-eat price is just subtracted off your DBA the same as any other a la carte purchase would be.Natalie Colaneri

Dartmouth Dining Services lives a sheltered life. The College needs to either refund the balance of students' meal plans at the end of every term or let them opt out of a meal plan all together. Either way, DDS would have to compete for students' dining dollars and would thus put the work into designing a system that students would find appealing.Charles Clark

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of the current system is any student's ability to pop into a dining facility and grab a snack or other small item such as fro-yo without blowing an entire "meal." Additionally, the wide availability of late-night dining options must be preserved. The renovation of '53 Commons should not coincide with limitations on the flexibility of students to dine virtually whenever they please.Keshav Poddar

Ideally, I would like to preserve the current system with two critical alterations. First, I'd like to be able to opt out of the meal plan entirely, or at least buy in for substantially smaller amounts than is currently required so that I don't end up burning hundreds of unused dollars at the end of every academic year. Second, I'd like DDS to partner with local restaurants to allow DBA to be used at their establishments. This way, what money we do pay to DDS can be maximally applied to food we actually want to eat.Raza Rasheed

DDS cuisine isn't going to win any awards, but at least there are plenty of choices. The truly necessary improvement would be a pricing system that doesn't cost more than comparable in-town options, swindling the students who are forced to pay into it. Is that too much to ask?Brian Solomon

I am strongly opposed to the fact that students will not be permitted to sit in the dining hall without paying for a meal in '53 Commons. If the new renovations are to bring "new, multi-use public spaces," as heralded by the DDS website, then why limit access to the communal space that we already hold dear?Yoo Jung Kim

A mixture of a la carte and all-you-can-eat dining options on campus would be ideal at Dartmouth. As for meal plans, Dartmouth should open its "off-campus" dining plan to all students so that those with kitchens or those who dislike DDS are not forced to eat DDS food.Suril Kantaria

I love our current dining plan because I am a perpetual snacker. If DDS is concerned about students on financial aid who exhaust their DBA halfway through the term, why doesn't the College cover the costs of a Big Green or Super Green plan for those students?Sapna Chemplavil

Dining halls have the potential to bring different social groups together under one roof, creating a sense of campus community. A good dining system should thus emphasize access for all students rather than convenience for a few. Charging an entrance fee to the new and improved '53 Commons will work against the community spirit.Louis Wheatley