Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Coming to college, you may discover that for some inexplicable reason you are hungry ALL THE TIME. It doesn't happen to everyone, but it did to me for sure. Luckily, there are plenty of on campus dining options for you to choose from that run all sorts of absurd hours of the day! But first, let's talk about the meal plan, because ARCH participants and their parents seemed the most confused by this one.

Here are some helpful definitions you can use to understand food in Wooster!

Flex dollars: This is money that is prepaid (as a part of your tuition) and can be used in Mom's, at Old Main, the Scot Dog cart, or the C-Store  Macleod's. "Flex" can also be used as a substitute for meal swipes in Lowry or at Pop's Sub Stop, however, you have to pay the "real money" equivalent, which can eat up flex pretty quickly. Some people spend flex quickly (having coffee before every class adds up) and some spend it slowly, like the people who only buy milk and a granola bar every once in a while. Flex do NOT roll over, so usually the people who have a ton of extra flex at the end of the semester end up covering the ones that had 100 or so too many iced mochas over the course of their first few months back to school. The meal plan (and flex) resets every semester. So if $450 doesn't sound like enough flex for a year, it's not. It's only for the semester. Budget your flex well, because if not, you may turn into this guy:

Super Mooch to the rescue!!!

Meal Swipes: Commonly referred to simply as "swipes", these handy little things are part of the meal plan that you select at the beginning of the year. These swipes can only be used in Lowry Dining Hall and at Pop's, but sometimes can be used at the Scot Dog cart for special lunches, such as Lunch on the Lawn (LOL).  

CoW Card: This is the physical piece of plastic that lets you into your room, gets you food, and swipe into some buildings after hours, but it also works as a debit card...kinda. TAKE NOTE: ONCE YOU PUT MONEY ON YOU CANNOT WITHDRAW CASH FROM IT! You load it at the bookstore, and have to put at least 5 or 10 (I can't remember which) dollars on it at a time, if using cash, and 25 dollars if you're using a credit or real debit card. The CoW card part of your ID can be used at Drug Mart, the Shack (a restaurant just off campus), and the bookstore. You can also use your CoW to pay for things at any of the dining establishments on campus. It's handy to always keep some money on there, since there are vending machines in all the res halls, and when you REALLY want a soda at midnight, it's handy to have around. 

Now that you know what the different things on the card mean, let's go over where you can eat. 

Lowry: The main dining hall (simply called Lowry, most of the time) is where we usually eat most of our dinners. The only other dinner option is Mom's (or possibly T-Bell, if you're willing to walk), so it's not uncommon to run into friends at dinner. People will often have a group of friends that they text and say "Dinner?". Thus, they have people to eat with, because really, it's more fun that way. EDUCATE TIP: If you are eating dinner with others, and there's that ONE PERSON eating slower than your grandma who falls asleep at dinner, don't leave them all alone, just stay. You might just end up having an awesome conversation.

Mom's: This is your destination for a quiet lunch or late night snack, or if you sleep through dinner and Lowry is closed already. They serve "comfort food" or, in other words, a lot of fried stuff. However, there are some healthier options available as well. Spicy chicken sandwiches, quesadillas, milk shakes, pizza on weekends, and chicken cesar wraps are among some of the favorites in Mom's. 

Pop's Sub Stop: When you're on the go and have a paper to write before class  you want to review your notes on the reading before discussion, it's perfect. It's usually very quick, and conveniently located in the Wired Scot (downstairs in Lowry). For a meal swipe you get a sandwich, drink, and two sides. The sides are usually chips, fruit, yogurt, or cookies. There is one veggie option and one meat sandwich or wrap per day. 

Old Main CafĂ©: The stuff at Old Main is a bit pricier, but always good. You'll have to use flex, but sometimes it's worth it, especially if you don't feel like leaving Kauke for lunch on a cold day. There's always really good sweets, as well as healthier options to be found there. 

Scot Dog Cart: Unfortunately the Scot Dog cart is no longer a regular lunch option, it is often brought out for special events. Below is an incredibly accurate illustration.

My artistic interpretation of the Scot Dog cart.

Kittredge Hall: Simply referred to as "Kitt", this dining hall is open for lunch 5 days a week and serves vegetarian meals. The food here is bought from local farmers whenever possible. They have fruit and organic-y stuff available, as well as all sorts of veggies and salad stuff. This is where all the rabbits go to eat... just kidding. They like to hang out in front of Luce Hall.