New Flex Plan Offers Dining Option to Commuters



While there is no set meal plan for commuters, a new service offers commuter students, as well as on campus students, money to use for on campus and off campus dining.

New dining options for commuters and off-campus residents let them purchase food using their Jasper card at on-campus a la carte vanues.
New dining options for commuters and off-campus residents let them purchase food using their Jasper card at on-campus a la carte vanues.

The new Flex Plan offers students three different options. The first option is the ‘Snacker’ which costs $100. With any amount that is put on a student’s Jasper card, they are given an additional 10 percent bonus. So if the student puts $100 on their card, they will get $110.

This Flex Plan was put out following the opening of the new student commons where students are provided with more campus dining options. From pizza, Chinese food, cold sandwiches and even a new Starbucks, students have a bigger variety of food to choose from than ever before. With all of that in place, it seems like it would be an opportunity that commuter students would want to not miss out on. However, some of them are not seeing the benefits from having this in place.

“I don’t think it’s worth it because I would rather get better food outside even if I have to spend a little more,” sophomore Ebru Nayci said. “I usually go down to Broadway and buy food from there.”

“I eat at home or bring food with me,” commuter Maciej Reuter-Gargol said. “I wouldn’t put money on my card to eat here.”

If students like to buy food on Broadway, they could take advantage of this flex plan. They can add money onto their card to use at their favorite places instead of pulling out cash every single time they go to make a purchase. Manhattan is now making it easier for students by letting them put all of that money onto one card while also getting some added benefits.

“What a lot of schools and what we here at Manhattan College are offering is a meal plan  for commuters that is optional,” Kenneth Waldhof, director of business services, said. “It’s voluntary. It’s dollars that are flexible. They expire at the end of the spring semester but they can carry over from fall to spring.”

The plan is not only offered to commuters but to off-campus residents as well.

Students can add money to their account by using a new online service and that money will go directly onto their card. Waldhof says that this new system makes it easier not only for students to add cash onto their card, but for parents as well if they wish to put money on their students card.

Junior Cierra Howard is a commuter and she feels as though the new commuter flex plan does not save her any money and says she would rather use her credit card or cash if she had to buy food on campus.

“Everything is so expensive in the commons. The meal plans for commuters might as well not exist because it’s no different from buying food on your own,” Howard said.

The option of having a solid meal plan for commuting students to eat just in Locke’s is currently not available. However, a plan like that is something that Waldhof said he would consider. As for right now, he said he feels that this optional commuter plan offers more flexible.

“There’s no discussion of it today but a program like this, not only from a student’s standpoint but from a parents offers so much more flexibility,” Waldhof said. “You can add more money to your card at any time and each time you would benefit from the savings that are being offered through that.”