Non-resident hall students can no longer be swiped into dining halls.
As of the spring 2012 semester a tax law was clarified prohibiting on-campus residents from swiping non-residents into on-campus dining halls.
Some students think this is unfair.
Peter Grignon, a freshman from Bolingbrook studying political science, said he pays for his meal plan so he should be able to use his meals however he wants. He also said he thinks it is unprofessional for the university to implement this new rule in the middle of the school year.
“Most of my friends live off-campus and I should be able to have dinner with them at my expense if I want to,” he said. “It said nowhere in the contract that I signed at the beginning of the semester that I wouldn’t be able to swipe in students who don’t live on campus, so I think it is ridiculous that the new rule applies to me.”
Crystal Bouhl, assistant marketing director of university housing, said she thinks a lot of students don’t understand the reason for the rule.
She said the university legally must implement the rule, which basically says residents are no longer able to swipe in non-residents because the residents do not have to pay a tax and the non-residents would have to.
“We welcome non-residents to come eat with us, they just have to pay cash instead of being swiped in,” she said.
For residents, each meal costs $8.50, but because of tax reasons, non-residents must pay $9.20 in cash.
Kyle Elliot, a resident and undecided freshman from Mt. Juliet, Tenn., said he is confused and upset about the new rule.
“I am in a fraternity and I used to swipe in my brothers all the time,” he said. “Now I am sure that no one is going to want to pay cash to eat food here when they can go to a number of other restaurants off campus.”
Elliot said he is upset about the rule but he cannot blame the university because he does not know exactly why it was implemented.
“I think that a lot of students are getting really upset and blaming the university without knowing the whole story,” he said.
Elliot said he went online to try to discover what was going on but still doesn’t understand.
Michael Bisognani, a senior from Arlington Heights studying aviation technologies and a non-resident, said he thinks the new rule is a waste.
“My younger sister lives in the towers and she doesn’t use all of her meals,” he said. “So I go over to True Blood about three times a week to eat with her.”
Bisognani said he should be able to use the meals his family pays for, otherwise his sister will end up wasting $7 on a bag of chips at Grinnell.
Grignon said part of the reason he is so mad is because he wasn’t informed about the rule until he tried to swipe in a non-resident.
“I had no clue about what was going on. Lee, the swipe-in guy, is the one who told me about it,” he said.
Bouhl said there were posters placed outside of each dining hall and informative table tents were placed on every dining table. There was also an update on the housing website.
She said she thinks a lot of students are confused about what is going on, and if they have any questions they should feel free to contact her at housing.
“We apologize if any students feel inconvenienced, but this is not a housing policy. It is something we have to do,” she said.