Swiping finally comes to Sorority Row, frustrating upperclassmen Greek women

The meal plan change does not affect male Greek members


A Pi Beta Phi sorority woman swipes before a meal. Photo by Mackie Benson, ’21.

Tate Mikkelsen

Sorority members now have to swipe to eat meals on Sorority Row after a meal plan change was implemented for the new year.

Previously, sorority members were able to eat all meals in the houses without having to swipe. The students believed their meals were accounted for in their dues.

However, Jen Hickey, director of Dining Services, said this was a misconception and the school was unable to track meal plans and swipes to best determine how to serve the students.

“A couple years ago, our contract menu management company decided to allow sorority meal plans to be used in all our units,” Hickey wrote in an e-mail to Greek members.

“However, they also had the expectation that you would manually calculate how many times you ate in the house and subtract that from how many swipes your card showed you had to determine how many swipes you had to use elsewhere.”

Hickey said this was not well communicated to the girls and difficult to implement over the six houses, causing the school to change their meal plan contract for the school year.

“One of my responsibilities is to ensure we are fiscally sound in all of our restaurants, including the sorority houses,” Hickey wrote.

Sophomores who live in a sorority house are automatically enrolled in a “full board” meal plan, which includes 23 meals a week, plus six guest meals a semester. Only sophomores in sorority housing and all freshmen are required to enroll in the most expensive meal plan option.

Other students can pick any meal plan ranging from two meals a week to the “full board.” Costs vary depending on the plan selected.

Fraternity members who live in the fraternity houses or on campus have two meal plans, one through their respective fraternities and one through the university’s Dining Services. Therefore, fraternity members have the option of a two-swipe meal plan on campus and do not need to swipe in their houses.

All students who live in university housing, as well as all Greek members, must enroll in a meal plan during the school year.

E.C. Myers, ‘20, who is a member of Chi Omega, said the new swipe requirement has changed people’s ability to be flexible about dining on campus.

“While I understand the need to account for the meals served, it’s frustrating for the people that don’t live in the house and don’t have the almost unlimited meal swipes,” Meyers said.

Each meal swipe is worth $8.50, and all students pay for an initial $225 worth of Food Flex. Some sorority members who relied on eating at the houses will have to opt for a higher meal plan in order to accommodate the change.

Food has never been available in the sorority houses on the weekends, and breakfast is still free of charge. The meal plan update will only be applied to lunch and dinner.

“It is truly important that you swipe,” Hickey wrote. “Without swipes, we will not be able to continue to sustain the meals we are currently serving here.”