Still dealing with public unrest from the ongoing political controversy, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has yet again upset the constituents of the university. UNL officials announced last week that new meal plans would be up for a vote of approval to the Nebraska Board of Regents. After further investigation into the meal plan details, reports say that students who purchase the meal plan will need to accumulate 4,000 credit hours in order to unlock all dining hall content, or else they will have to incur an extra $2,000 expense just to gain access to this content.
According to the proposal, students will be required to purchase the base meal plan in order to gain entrance to dining halls on campus, which will cost $4,000. But certain areas in different dining halls will be locked to students unless they accumulate a certain amount of credit hours or purchase “Husker Credits,” UNL’s digital currency used for unlocking dining hall content. Students will either need to hit 4,000 credit hours exclusively in the University of Nebraska system or would need to pay around $2,000 in Husker Credits to gain full dining hall access. Areas locked to base dining hall users include Abel’s noodle bar and Cather’s mini pizza bar.
Freshman marketing major Michael B. Cameron expressed discontent at the news of the new meal plan idea. “I pay UNL like $20,000 just to get a decent education, and now they slap this on us?” said Cameron. “Why the hell are we always stuck behind a stupid paywall? If I pay for the meal plan, I should get access to all dining hall features. I guess it’s just a way for the university to suck money out of us.”
After receiving major backlash from several students, the university issued an apology. UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green stated in the apology, “Our intent was to give students a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different areas of the dining hall. We are always looking for ways to improve the dining hall system, so we are open for feedback. We have decided to take down the payment system for unlocking dining hall content temporarily, but we’re probably going to implement it again sometime in the future. We have a budget gap to cover, you know?”