2 West's future in doubt as result of meal plan amendments

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First-years Emily Cline (left) and Madison
Prather (right) eat lunch at 2 West on Monday.
SAM CARAVANA / THE DEPAUW

2 West, the staple restaurant of The Inn at DePauw, is considered one of the favored dining-out options for DePauw University students. With the current school meal plan, students are able to escape from the monotony that is The Hub and use their TigerCards to treat themselves to a nice night out. However, with the establishment of the new swipe meal plan, there will soon be a restriction placed on how much money students can spend at 2 West.

Although the swipe system is considered to be a much more efficient, flexible approach to on-campus dining, it is a primary concern for students that it doesn’t allow much leeway in terms of flex dollars.

Kevin Kessinger, associate vice president for finance, explains that students “can use flex dollars at 2 West and the duck or for small items at other DePauw dining locations.”

For students who opt for the default Residence Hall Meal Plan, these flex dollars amount to $200 per semester. If this money were to be used exclusively for restaurants such as 2 West or the Duck, one would be able to dine there approximately once a week if they so desired.

However, it is still a concern for the 2 West staff that revenue will be greatly diminished once the new swipe system is instituted. New 2 West manager, Brittnay Jackson, is approaching the implementation of the meal plan with some apprehension.

“In my observation of the restaurant, it seems that this is going to greatly affect the servers that work here in that they won’t get as many tips, which is really going to affect our ability to hire staff and keep good quality servers in the restaurant,” she said.

Sophomore Jazmin Lesane, previous hostess and current server, is very concerned about the significant cut in her paycheck that will result from changes in the meal plan. Lesane explains that the bulk of her pay comes from customer tips, especially towards the end of the year when students have leftover money on their TigerCards.

With the new swipe system and the restrictions placed on how much money students can spend at 2 West, Lesane and Jackson fear that hostesses and servers won’t make nearly as much as they are currently.

“I feel like [DePauw] is so focused on making money, they don’t realize how [the new meal plan] will affect workers,” Lesane said. “I know that the intention of the new meal plan isn’t to support workers, but if students choose to spend their money in a certain way, they should have the right to.”

The implementation of the swipe system has begun to raise concerns among students and employees alike. Many believe that the changes being made are simply in the interest of monetary gains on the part of the university.

“There is even a new rule that students paying with their Tiger Cards can’t tip a server more than 20 percent,” said Lesane.

The compounding restrictions placed on students in terms of where they can spend their money and how much they can spend is becoming problematic for those in similar situations as Lesane.

“They don’t realize how many students work [at 2 West]…some of us are trying to fund our education and we should have a way to do that.” 

-This is the final article in a three part series highlighting DePauw's new meal plan