Next year, dorm residents will be required to buy Aggie Cash with their normal meal plan.
This new rule is unfair and could end up costing dorm residents up to $200 more, according to this year’s pricing. Meal plan prices are going up next year, so it is unclear what the exact increase will be.
While Student Housing said this new plan was implemented to allow for more “flexibility” when it comes to eating options, this would in fact constrain students and probably waste their money.
Aggie Cash can be used at the Silo and a few restaurants downtown, and it comes with a 10 percent discount on campus. However, most dorm residents do not have the time or desire to go downtown, and usually just go to the Sodexo-run Dining Commons (DC). Adding this requirement will not be helpful to students and is taking advantage of the fact that incoming students do not have enough information to make an informed decision.
Furthermore, this new rule is unfair to businesses downtown who don’t accept Aggie Cash, as they could potentially lose a quarter of their customers to restaurants that accept Aggie Cash.
Perhaps Student Housing really does want students to explore downtown and other eating options, but it seems that the main reason they are implementing this requirement is to make money. This new rule would give people an incentive to use Aggie Cash at Sodexo-run companies such as the Silo, the Dining Commons and Starbucks at the ARC. Sodexo is a French-based international company. There will be many students who buy Aggie Cash and never use it, which will also be a gain for Student Housing.
Students already have the option to buy Aggie Cash and they should not be forced to buy something that is not necessary and that they probably will not use. Student Housing should not force students to buy Aggie Cash, especially when room and board is already expensive.