Rachel Morgan started a change.org titled “Commuter Points Given to ALL Commuters” after Webster University limited the capacity of the Commuter Meal Plan to 125 students.
Webster University has reintroduced the Commuter Meal Plan in a limited capacity to just 125 students.
The Commuter Meal Plan, which has been in place for several years, provided students commuting to campus with $100 of points to purchase food at the University Center, Marletto’s Marketplace and cyber cafe.
The decision has been met with controversy and has seen a petition to fully bring back the program gain over 450 signatures of students, parents and alumni.
According to the university, the program’s participation “has historically been low, and the cost of the program very high.”
Webster announced a limited version of the program available only to the first 125 students to register. When registration opened, the program was filled within 20 minutes.
“When you compare it to how many commuter students are actually in here, it feels like a fight to the death,” Webster student Rachel Morgan said. “It didn’t make sense to end this when they’re trying to push for in-person classes.”
Morgan started a change.org petition titled “Commuter Points Given to ALL Commuters,” in response to the new version of the Commuter Meal Plan.
“There is a lot going on with companies and stuff during COVID, and it was kinda just like when you see on social media like all the schools and how people are sleeping in made up dorms and you’re just like ‘I don’t want that to be my school,’” Morgan said.
The petition insists the university handle the changes to the program in a more predictable manner. As of Sept. 6, the petition had received over 450 signatures.
“For the University to back out of this as unpredictably as they did, is something we as a student body, should not have to fear when returning after a pandemic,” the petition reads. “By ridding students of the commuter points, Webster is proclaiming that commuter students are not a priority nor are we cared for at all.”
On Sept. 2, dean of students John Buck released a message through the Gorlok Gazette which acknowledged concerns from students and parents. The email said the university would look into potential modifications of the program and said student leaders would be able to get involved.
According to Webster University spokesman Patrick Giblin, the school is currently gathering data on the new program. Giblin also stated the university is accepting feedback from students and parents and is looking at new options now.
Morgan believes it would be better for the school to extend the meal plan to all students who ask for it.
“Just have a sign up sheet, and the students that need the points get the points,” Morgan said.