From the desk of the Tropolitan: In regard to dining services and university transparency

On behalf of the editorial board of the Tropolitan, we would like to address some points of concern in light of recent information about student meal plans and our current dining services.

Our foremost point of concern is that the money we and our fellow students pay, intended to go toward our meal plan, is being used to offset the debt incurred by Troy for the 2010 construction of the dining hall.

It is not that we mind paying for our school to improve. But we don’t think the university should grant itself permission to call a club a spade, especially not when it comes to a matter of our finances.

Disguising a university debt-relief fee inside our meal plan payment only hurts the students’ relationship with the administration by giving us cause to distrust administrative practices. The allocation of our money is definitely our business.

Additionally, if the University is going to charge students a nominal fee to relieve this debt, we should be charged equally — not based on the margin of swipes, flex points and dining dollars we are forced to forfeit each semester.

With that in mind, let’s talk about Herb’s Place. Its greatest glory lies in being an outlet for students to purge unused flex points at the end of the semester, which would be beneficial if the shelves were ever stocked.

If logic isn’t enough for Sodexo to know that this race to unload flex points will take place, then surely empty shelves should be. Whether this is a sinister plot to force students to retain more points, we do not claim to know.

However, Herb’s Place “convenience” should be in question. While the store did slash prices in 2014 after an investigative article into its unfair pricing, prices still seem higher than any convenience store in South Alabama.

Furthermore, it is not convenient for the customer to not know prices until he or she gets to the cash register.

We would like to commend the administration on finally acknowledging that the two sets of meal plan options available do not fully suit every student’s needs or budget.

In response to Jim Bookout and Ibrahim Yildirim, we disagree that the need for some locations to be open later is not existent. The process by which that is determined is folly.

Many students don’t visit locations during the last hour because certain locations will inexplicably close early. Boar’s Head is notorious for locking doors 30 minutes early some nights.

These establishments should be held more accountable, and they should not get between students and their nutritional needs.

Additionally, we disagree with the idea that new locations are not needed. While we are glad that A&W is getting a makeover, we also think a substitute for Trojan Deli should be in order.

If the goal is variety, then Trojan Deli is not necessary. Besides, we already have better sandwich-making facilities available to us.

Moreover, the fight to combat long lines is not going over so well. While another register has been added to Einstein Bros Bagels, it serves no purpose if two people are not operating the registers during rush hours.

We thank the administration and Troy Dining Services for listening to the needs of students and taking action to that end, and we are excited about the upcoming changes.

In the future, we plead for increased transparency for the constituents of this university and for dining services to hold employees accountable for closing up shop early.

It is also the opinion of this board that extended hours are necessary. Many students eat late dinners because of classes or other obligations, and there should be an option for those students besides Moe’s.

For all of the facts referenced in this article, please see the corresponding articles on Page 1 and at

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