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The second year that I worked for The Silhouette, at least 50 percent of my job revolved around food. I ran the Lifestyle section, and I took restaurant reviews very seriously. I still love eating out now, so when the new MacEats app was released, I was quick to download it and give it a try.
The new app is the offspring of Hospitality Services and the Student Dining Committee, a group of students devoted to sampling and judging the foods on campus. The app allows students to search across the menu offerings at campus eateries and compare their options before swiping their meal card. With categories like Food Types, Open Late, Locations and more, with the tap of a screen, students can find out which campus restaurants are open and what they are selling.
While the app will surely be helpful for many students, there’s one category that seems to be missing — budget.
It checks all the boxes for showcasing food options and even highlights which locations cater to dietary restrictions, but it has no way for students to search meals based on price.
It’s no secret that food on campus is expensive. And for many students, it can be exceedingly difficult to find an affordable meal that isn’t going to take a huge chunk out of their weekly budget, especially if they didn’t factor in eating on campus.
The app is great for students who live on campus and have meal plan dollars to use up, but for those of us who do not have a large pool of funds attached to our student cards, budgeting is important. Especially now that most campus vendors accept credit and debit, the purchasing habits of the full student body should be considered.
If the app had a section where students could program in the amount they were willing to spend and view options based on that number, not only would it help those looking for a more reasonably priced meal, but it may even increase sales at campus vendors since students wouldn’t be so turned off by what appears to be exclusively high-priced cuisine.
Student finances should be a priority across campus, especially when it comes to making campus life something affordable or at least accessible for all financial backgrounds. Budgeting a student life shouldn’t be something hard to swallow.