I Just Wanna Eat, Man.
Updated: Sep 20, 2019
Does Bucknell University’s Administration care at all that its students are going hungry? Don’t let the countless statements released about the University’s push for inclusiveness fool you: the Administration knows the issue but will fail to address it because of the bad press.
How can the Administration expect low-income students to pay a minimum of $700 on meals per semester and still go hungry? They will tell you that they do not, and therefore, they have set up a Food Pantry to support these students. However, this band-aid solution does nothing more than push this idea of the University providing extra help for needy students, completely ignoring the issue. The Administration just fails to genuinely ask itself this question: Why are our students going hungry?
The food is too expensive, and the ‘flexible’ meal plans are rigid and constraining. What does expensive campus dining have anything to do with the college experience? The University forces each and every student who lives on-campus to enroll in a meal-plan. If it were to ensure that students consistently had funds to use on their meals, these meals would not be so expensive. Repeatedly, students have expressed their desires to abolish this absurd rule and allow them to use this money for groceries that can go much further than the burritos at the Bison. The fact of the matter is this: with almost 115 days in the semester, and even with the most expensive dining-dollars based meal plan ($1300), students have around eleven dollars per day to spend on food. This food, however, is really expensive. If a student wants to eat a simple pasta for dinner, they would have to cough up around eight dollars. That leaves them with next to nothing for any other meals during the day. So, what should this student do? Should he eat Cliff Bars for breakfast and lunch? What about a cup of coffee? No! That pushes you over the line.
Then stop selling me shit that I cannot afford.
In a college where students from the top 1% of the median income outnumber students from the bottom 20% by more than twenty fold, the administration realises that its priorities are not to keep the poor happy, or even nourished. This is reflected in the way the University advertises its food pantry, B-Eats. It doesn’t. A quick Google search will yield zero results about the pantry, instead, almost as a fuck you to the hungry, the first search result is of the Dining Service’s, which reads, ‘You know all those rumors you've always heard about college food? Forget about them. There are tons of dining options at Bucknell.’ It is hard not to get frustrated by this. Food insecurity is an issue that is present on all campuses; in the 2016 Hunger on Campus Report, 20% of students in four-year colleges reported having very low food security. So do we really think that Bucknell is that one magical institution where food insecurity does not exist?
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