DSpar preaches about the mandatory meal plan against a backdrop of free food

DSpar preaches about the mandatory meal plan against a backdrop of free food.

If you wandered past Barnard’s new Events Oval last night, the first thing you might have noticed at the Meal Plan Forum, even before the presence of the forty or so mostly angry attendees, would have been the two tables of catered food. Ironic, yes, but it did placate the hordes of meal plan-protesters, at least for the first half hour of the event. Here’s our recap of  the the long, passive aggressive battle that was the Meal Plan Forum of ‘010.

Seniors v _?

A number of seniors showed up to voice their disapproval. Given that the meal plan is not in effect until next fall, no one quite understood what the seniors were one doing there, though one senior took the floor to violently express her dissatisfaction with the controversial Barnard graduation-room change.

Hand-Raisers v Other Hand-Raisers

Instead of instructing questioning students to form a line, the event’s organizers distributed approximately three microphones, all switched to “on,” among the first shift of hand-raisers, whose own questions initiated further hand-raising and general mic-fueled chaos. This disorder persisted until a full-scale mic war had broken out on the floor, with students straining to raise their hands the highest and gain entry into the next round of question-asking.

DSpar v Starbucks

“A latte at Liz’s Place costs less than at Starbucks,” said DSpar, eliciting a chorus of tsk-ing and nuh-uh-ing from her Starbucks price list-oriented crowd.

Meal Plan Haters v Meal Plan Haters

There seemed to be two factions of meal plan haters. At the beginning of the event, DSpar had enunciated the basic truths of the meal plan situation: that more meal choices (i.e new food at the Diana) means higher meal plan costs and solutions like mandatory meal plans. The first faction of meal plan haters, which included a number of students on financial aid, expressed their dismay at this sad fact, but not much else, though several of this group tried (and failed) to come up with other options for offsetting costs. Meal Plan Hating Faction #2 was comprised mostly of people with excessive dietary restrictions: kosher vegans, people who had “literally been poisoned by Hewitt food,” and one vegetarian who related that “French fries were the only thing I could eat [at Hewitt] that gave me oral satisfaction.” Attempting to unite all meal plan-haters were Embry Owen and Ashley Asti,  Neither faction brought about the administration’s spontaneous retraction of the as-yet-unofficial meal plan, and most meal plan-haters quickly realized that their anger was misplaced and also in vain.

DSpar v Herself

“This information was leaked early,” admitted DSpar sheepishly.

Ultimately, the Meal Plan Forum covered a lot of what we already know: that most people strongly disagree with the mandatory meal plan, and that a more appealing solution does not yet exist. Students had to compete over mics to voice the their opinions, and the two types of meal plan opponents seemed to be seeking entirely different results. The Meal Plan Battle rages on.