April 1, 2012
Here I will summarize the stories I hear from my friends regarding the new meal plan requirement and their cooking experiences.
30 March 2012. For Bernice, Cynthia, and Lexie’s stories, see “Posting to Facebook (30 March 2012)”.
1 April 2012. Michael will be living in the Arabic House beginning in Fall 2012. He and other freshmen will be subject to the new meal plan requirement. He notes that many members of the Arabic House cook for themselves and with each other every night and that requiring that students purchase a meal plan would stifle community in the Arabic House.
According to Mark Sikes, 82 percent of students at W&M presently have a meal plan. In our conversation Michael guessed that this percentage would only increase to 87 percent under the new meal plan requirement because most of the students without meal plans also live off campus. Considering this relatively small increase the new meal plan requirement seems less drastic. I responded that I believe that we should consider primarily not these raw statistics but the stories and feelings of individuals.
2 April 2012. I met Joe today, a vegetarian, biker, and member of the Student Environmental Action Coalition and the Latin American Student Union. Based on his finances and passions he had hoped to cook for himself next year. He wrote the following protest to Carolyn Davis (CKDavis@wm.edu), a director of Auxiliary Services at W&M.
“Part of the reason that I decided to come to William and Mary was that I thought I could make the finances work, but much of those financial expectations I had hinged on being off the meal plan next year. I speak for much of the student body when I say it is burdensome to be required to spend thousands of dollars on food. Though I am not one of the poorer students here, eating more frugally should be a right because students come from all sorts of different backgrounds.