Dining Services regulates number of meals served on Sorority Row

Sororities have been swiping (or not swiping) for almost a year. Who does that affect?


Liza Moore

Washington and Lee Dining Services moved this year to a self-run system that uses swipe card machines in the sorority houses.

Each sorority house now depends on members swiping for every meal in order to consistently provide food. Pattie Reid, a cook for sorority dining services, is encouraging more sorority members to eat their meals through dining on sorority row.

“Let’s get the girls back in here so we can do our jobs,” Reid said.

Sorority dining services cook Pattie Reid checks the temperature of chicken before serving. Photo by Liza Moore.

Before the 2017-2018 academic school year, larger numbers of Greek women ate their meals at the sorority houses. Andrew Walting, the associate director of board operations at Washington and Lee, credits the larger crowd to the fact that “all sorority dining plans were restricted to use at the sorority houses only.”

When the old management company changed the system during the 2017-2018 academic year, the new plan called for sorority members to keep track of their own meals eaten through sorority dining. Sorority members were expected to deduct that number of meals from their dining plan themselves.

Depending on a student’s grade level, different meal plans are available. For sorority women living in the houses, their meal plans grant them 21 meal swipes per week.

“Students would swipe at third-year and on-campus dining services, but we would estimate at the end of the week how many meals we had at the houses,” Victoria Morgan, ‘19, said in regards to tracking meals during the 2017-2018 academic school year. “We never ended up using our full 21 swipes because we were always guessing.”

The swipe machines were installed in the sorority houses this academic year in order to track how many women are eating at each sorority house. Dining Services used this information to determine where staff should be placed and the amount of food is needed on sorority food.

Members are required to swipe at every meal provided by sorority dining. But members can still get their meals from any of the houses serving food, no matter which sorority they are affiliated with.