New J Street opens to mixed student reaction

Signs that read “Lunch Meal Period 11:30 – 2:30” were missing as classes began last week, and the frantic freshman rush to make it to Thurston Dining Hall for breakfast time is a thing of the past.

Students arriving on campus found a much different J Street than they left in the fall. Besides new food options like Jamba Juice, Taco Bell and stir-fry, the meal plan itself changed, as a points-only dining plan replaced the mixed meal and points system of previous years.

Many students said they liked the new plan because of the flexibility.

“I like the points plan better because you get what you paid for, regardless of the time of day,” sophomore Sean Griffith said.

Juniors William McKinney and Veda Ayub agreed.

“I like it better this way,” McKinney said. “The meals never got used, and then they were just a waste of money.”

“I think it’s pretty good,” Ayub said. “For me it’s fine. There’s just more flexibility.”

Sophomore Jen Stahlfchmidt said she likes the new plan better because people can eat whenever they want without the limitations of designated meal times.

Aoife McCarthy, another sophomore, said she likes having more selection.

But some students are not ready to gobble up the new system.

Junior Shekar Kodali agreed the new points-only plan is an improvement but said too many of the options are unhealthy.

Junior Steven Tanenbaum said the points-only system, while convenient, caters to fast-food companies.

“It might have increased culinary diversity,” he said. “But we don’t need more corporations in our school.”

Junior Lauren Shary had an all-points plan last year and said this is a step in the right direction. She would like to see GW take this a step further, though.

“All points is better than meals, but it would be better not to have a meal plan at all,” she said. “The school forces us to use the meal plan, but it is totally overpriced.”

But some people are not praising the new system.

“It doesn’t really matter to me,” J Street employee Cynthia Kelly said. “Maybe it’s easier for students like this, but the money seems like it goes faster.”

“Points are better, but it seems more expensive this way,” sophomore Sara Outterson said.

Freshman Ali Khansari said it did not take a long time to form an opinion about the food options on campus.

“I’m already tired of the food,” he said. “I don’t think I can eat this for nine months.”

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