WRITTEN BY CARL LEMMON | CONTRIBUTOR
If you pay attention when you scan into the caf, you may have noticed something amiss in the past two weeks. If you haven’t, then make sure to pay attention next time you scan in. You may find that your number of meals has lowered to the number displayed three weeks ago.
I noticed this issue the Friday before spring break. I scanned in for breakfast, and the display read 43 meals remaining. I then went to have lunch, and the meals remaining had dropped to 27. The cashier told me to e-mail financial services, who then directed me to ITS. After nearly two weeks, I was able to finally get in touch with them and figure out what the issue was.
Without going into much detail, a bug existed in the display that tells you your remaining meals, and was displaying a higher count then were actually left. The meals were still being used, but some of the meals used weren’t being taken into account on the display. This bug was fixed, between my breakfast and lunch on that very day.
I’m not going to blame ITS for the fact that there was a glitch. We all know that technology sometimes doesn’t work, and ITS did fix the problem. The issue that I bring to attention in this letter is the lack of communication throughout this entire process. For the first half of the semester, our meals were going down as normal, with no indication that anything was wrong. Then the number was suddenly corrected. There still hasn’t been any indication from ITS or any authority to the general student body that this glitch occurred, and we are left scratching our heads at the discrepancy in meal count. Since there isn’t another clear way to know our meal count (ITS notified me I could check this on blackboard, which is about as relevant as Amanda Bynes), we must use the number displayed upon entering the caf to pace our meal usage. Now that this has suddenly dropped, and turns out to have been inaccurate all along, me, and many others I’ve talked to, will not have enough meals to finish out the semester.
Think of it this way. If you were to check your bank account, and it said you had $1000 to last you a month, you would use about $30 a day to make sure it lasts. Then, halfway through the month, you had spent half of that money, but it now turns out you only had $750 to start with. Now you are left with $15 a day to make it through the rest of the month.
I spoke today with ITS, and they have said they are looking into whether they can add “a few” meals back onto peoples plans, and they do take responsibility for the bug happening. I simply ask that they communicate the entirety of this situation to the student body, when this is an issue that since it began has affected us all.
Carl Lemmon is a senior chemistry major.
PHOTO BY JONATHAN SOCH