By Andrew N. | May 29, 2012
One of the biggest changes Ohio State is making for the upcoming year has to do with their dining plans. Forget about the whole class schedule changing situation, the real issue to be concerned with is food. While the dining plan on the quarter system had a single basic option of swiping for every meal and varied based on how many swipes were allotted per quarter, the new semester system has three basic options with very slight variation.
Let’s break down each of the three options separately before I give you my verdict:
- Unlimited Plan- This plan provides unlimited meals to the three traditional dining halls (North Commons, Kennedy Commons, and Morrill Traditions), located on North, South, and West campuses respectively. In addition, the student will have 10 “blocks” per week (worth $5), to use at any dining location. These blocks will not roll over and restart at 10 every Sunday night.
- 45O and 60O Blocks- This plan is the most similar to past years. Each student is given a total of 450 or 600 blocks at the beginning of the semester to use at their discretion at any dining location on campus. Meals at the traditional dining halls will cost 2 blocks and if the total cost exceeds $5 at another location, the student has the option to use a second block or pay the rest using another form of payment.
- Traditional Plan- This plan is similar to Unlimited Plan, but has a limit of 19 meals used at the traditional dining hall per week. This works out to using 3 meals per day during the weekdays, and 2 meals during the weekend. In addition, the student will get 2 blocks per week to be used at any location. Both the 19 meals and 2 blocks do not roll over and restart every Sunday night.
Note- Each of these three plans comes with $150 on the BuckID, which can be used basically as a debit card at almost all places around campus. Typically students use the money to do laundry, buy off campus food, and buy merchandise at local stores. While it mostly acts like a debit card, it differs in the fact that students cannot withdraw cash from the money that is on the BuckID.
For students who have become accustomed to the swiping system used up until next year, the dining plan provided taught us that the majority of the meals we eat are not at the traditional dining locations. For me personally, I believe I have had 4 meals this quarter at traditions, although I may be on the lower end. This automatically rules out either the Unlimited Plan or the Traditional Plan for me.
Now about choosing from 45O or 60O, here is my advice. I estimate that I will use about 5 blocks per day (2 full meals and 1 snack) and eat on campus 6 days per week (because of eating off campus or going home for the weekend). If I maintain that average throughout the 15 week semester, that would be a total of 5x6x15=450. For this reason, I have elected to go with the 45O plan for myself. When you are considering which plan to pick, consider whether you think you can put up with eating at a traditional dining hall for majority of your meals. If you go with my advice and stick with the block system, use similar thinking to mine to decide whether 450 or 600 blocks is the right plan for you.
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