By Myara Gomez
There has been a rise of confusion surrounding meal equivalency, swipes and points as students who are new to campus feel as though they have been left out of the loop.
Due to the lack of information students know about the meal equivalency program, they would like to get an in depth explanation of what it truly is and the rules that go along with it.
“I’d like to believe I know what meal equivalency is. To me it means once a day, Monday through Friday, I can eat at any other location besides Eick and use an ‘Eickhoff swipe’ there,” said sophomore biology major Ria Patel.
Many students on campus have voiced their opinions surrounding meal plan changes stating they feel the description of the parameters are not to their liking.
“I feel like there should be an obvious distinction between when you can use meal equiv and when you need to use flex points,” said freshman psychology major Alexander Vance.
Sean Stallings, vice president for student affairs, has made it a priority to inform the students of the program and to clear up some of the confusion surrounding it.
“A student can use Meal Equivalency or a Swipe during a meal period but they cannot use both. If they attempt to use both, the student will be denied the second attempt,” Stallings told the Signal in an email.
Basically, when a student goes to eat a meal they have to choose if they are using meal equivalency or a swipe — they can’t use both during a meal period.
“For example, if a student ‘swipes’ into Eickhoff during the lunch period (11 a.m.- 4 p.m.) at 11:30 a.m. and then tries to use meal equivalency at the student center at 3 p.m., they will be denied because it is still within the lunch period,” Stallings said.
“Meal Equivalency allows cardholders to use up to five unused Eickhoff ‘swipes’ per week in retail/flex points locations,” Stallings wrote. “Each swipe may be used for an amount up to $8.50.”
“Swipes” are what students use to pay for their meals at different locations around campus. Some students though are left guessing as to what meal equivalency is and how to use it.
Stallings claims that if students are having issues with meal equivalency or points, it might be due to the lack of knowing some of the details of the program.
“I still don’t know if I have ten meals a week plus an extra five towards meal equiv, or if out of the ten meals I have, five can be used through meal equiv,” said Patel.
According to TCNJ Sodexo, no matter what meal plan a student has (10, 15 or 19 meals per week) they may use one “meal equivalency swipe” a day until 9 pm. With the exception of T-Dubs which has a meal period of 9 pm to 1 am.
Despite all the negatives surrounding meal equivalency, students’ overall reaction to the addition of meal equivalency has been positive; they are just confused about the overall process.
If a student has any questions regarding meal equivalency, swipes, or points they should contact Sean Stallings at email@example.com.