Letter to the editor: Dining Services needs better solution


Dining Services is currently deciding between two “budget-neutral” policy changes in the dining centers to close the spending power gap between RDA and Cougar Cash.

Both plans eliminate the 7.5 percent discount associated with Cougar Cash at the dining halls. The second goes further, increasing the RDA discount at the dining halls by 2 percent at the expense of closing Hillside on the weekends.

Let me make this very clear: this is not a satisfactory solution, and does not solve the huge problems associated with RDA. Issues such as the fact that a dollar of actual RDA buying power at the markets can cost as much as $2, and can’t always be carried over between years.

Under either plan, buying a pint of ice cream at Hillside would still cost $8 with Cougar Cash, compared with $16 under RDA.

Removing the Cougar Cash discount doesn’t resolve these problems, it only creates more. Each of these plans is a half-measure that equalizes Cougar Cash and RDA by taking away the stairs instead of adding a wheelchair ramp.

Should either of these unfortunate plans come to fruition, I still urge any upperclassmen who would otherwise purchase RDA next semester or next year to purchase Cougar Cash instead for your own sake. It will still be the better deal.

I implore Dining Services to either generate new solutions that address every problem with RDA, or stick to the status quo, regardless of how many problems might be associated with it. Either is preferable to the current proposals.

Of course, although the university is currently going through a deficit crisis, and very few departments are exempt from cutbacks, it should not be an excuse for this nonsolution.