By Hailey Donohue
Paying for food on a college budget isn’t how students prefer to watch their money disappear. Lucky enough, here at HSU there is a trick around the constant Depot receipt add ups. It’s simple; get J points. All students are eligible to buying a meal plan that allows them a certain amount of J points and the discounts that come along with them.
J points offer discounted prices to student purchases at the J, Depot, College Creek Marketplace, Hilltop Market and Cupboard on HSU’s campus. Kinesiology major, Fa Lin Chang, freshman, is one of the students who have found that using J points has helped her cut costs when it comes to college.
“When I go to lunch on campus with some of my older friends who don’t have J points I feel bad that they are paying more than I am,” Chang said. “But on the other hand I love being able to buy whatever food I want when I want it and not have to worry.”
For students living off campus, buying food between classes doesn’t come as easy. The nostalgic feeling of spending money on campus has made students like
psychology major Mia Panzarella, sophomore, contemplate buying J points for future semesters.
“Having J points freshman year was the best,” Panzarella said. “I thought about getting them again for this semester after being without them at the beginning of the year, but I couldn’t find room for them in my budget to pay for the mini meal plan all at once. I’m hoping to have them for next school year because they would seriously make my life easier and ultimately cost less.”
When living off campus students have to think about how much time they want to put aside to make their meals. If students find that they don’t have the extra time in their day, then picking a meal plan that best fits their diet is something the director of dining Ron Rudebock would suggest.
“We try to stay current with what they students want to eat and offer variety and convenience,” Rudebock said. ”Buying a meal plan has a high upfront price, but the flexibility J points offer provides added benefits to the consumer. Portions of each meal plan go toward food preparation and clean up, but students have to think about how much their time costs before they decide in whether or not a meal plan is right for them.”
One of the upperclassmen who already takes advantage of the benefits of J points is psychology major Erica Cuellar, senior.
“I still get J points because I knew that I would be spending a majority of my time on campus,” Cuellar said. “I realized that if I didn’t get them I would eventually be spending more money, more time preparing meals and I would have less time to focus on school. They are also nice because when I’m stressed I’m able to go get a quick snack and go on with my busy day.”
“Meal plans are great for certain people,” Rudebock said. “Though some students choose not to get them, they are beneficial to those who spend a majority of time on campus and use J points frequently.”