Editorial: Freshmen must eat at Larson Commons as required by a new meal plan

A new meal requirement makes all fresh-men have a minimum of 50 blocks on their meal plan no matter what. The blocks on the meal plan require students to eat buffet style at Larson Commons.

This change was made in response to a surge in Tapingo users last semester and lack of people eating at Larson Commons. South Dakota State administrators worried students using Tapingo would isolate them from social interaction, so making freshmen eat at Larson Commons was their solution.

The first reactions to the new freshman meal requirement from Collegian staff members weren’t positive. “Boo” and “poor freshmen” were a few of the responses.

Although it is an admirable reason to make this change for the betterment of the students, we, at The Collegian, believe this was the wrong approach.

It seems unfair to force students to eat at one location at least once a week for their first year of college, especially if they don’t like the food. Larson is notorious for poor quality food and leaving students a little sick after they visit the commons—why force people to eat somewhere they don’t want to go?

Although the new meal requirement at its lowest price is cheaper than silver flex, it still cheats students because they’re not getting the same quality food elsewhere. If a student wants to eat healthier, they have limited options at Larson compared to The Union. Limited operation hours can also conflict with students’ schedules, keeping them from using all of their blocks and getting the most out of their meal plan.

No one knew about this change—incoming students or returning students. There should have been better communication about this change beforehand. A survey is supposed to come out in October to gauge student reactions, but they should have done a survey last year to see if this requirement would be effective.

This change is with students in mind, but it may not be in the best interest of the students.

We, at The Collegian, think Larson Commons has an awesome staff and a great environment, but if SDSU administration wants more students to eat at Lar-son, there needs to be a change to the quality of food.

Yes, Larson is expanding its salad bar and getting an ice cream machine, but The Collegian staff predicts that if the quality of food doesn’t change then the required blocks for freshmen are going to go to waste.

We, at The Collegian, want people to be more social, but this is the wrong approach.


The requirement is unfair because it forces students to eat food they don’t like. There needs to be a quality improvement.