One hour past my informatics class, I receive an email from HFS titled “UW Housing: Attention Needed-High Dining Balance” in regards to the 493.33$, which is more than 50% of my quarterly allowance, being unused. What it didn’t tell me though, is at the end of the academic year, the 700$ or so I would have accumulated by this, would just disappear.
As I panicked and made my way towards my RA, I heaved a sigh of relief as I was told that if I approach the HFS office at Lander early on, there may be a chance of a refund at the end of the academic year, moreso if I have a sizeable amount remaining. While I was vary about this as past encounters usually demonstrated they were cold and apt at providing one-worded “no”s to most requests, the next day would provide me my answer.
At around 10:00AM the next day, I marched into their office at Lander and asked them if there was any way to get a refund at the end of the academic year, and lo and behold, I get a no.
While this is a fabulous business choice by Housing and Food Services, it’s a terrible choice for students, local businesses, and Seattle as a whole.
Students are stuck with bad and a food with a lack of complexity. Once you eat at Local Point enough, you will find that almost all the food is formed by stacking one thing on top of the other, something that’s impossible to mess up- this is the reason we don’t see complex dishes like burritos, sushi, or any wraps- they can be made cheaply, but require a bit of complexity in production.
Local Businesses don’t get as many customers as they could have, especially those around the Ave and others near the University of Washington. Let’s do some quick math year. The average academic year has 11 weeks, meaning 77 days. A Level 1 dining plan provides 893$ per quarter, which means 11.5$ per day, which increases as Local Point provides a limited food on weekends and holidays. Assuming a student grabs only lunch and dinner, they will be eating all their meals at LP, which means local businesses don’t get enough customers.
Students eating similar and low complexity dishes each day would reflect badly on their opinion on Seattle as a whole- because they’re financially bound to eating at Local Point, they don’t explore other restaurants nor the various cuisines available here at the UW. They’re unlikely to recommend Seattle to friends and family because they may believe Local Point reflects the food of Seattle, causing tourism, something linked to generating over $6.4 billion for King County alone with over 70,000 jobs, to not grow as quickly as it could have.