QU has new ways to spend meal points

Bulk purchasing and food trucks allow students to maximize their meal points

Anya Grondalski, Staff Writer

In an email sent out on Feb. 23,Quinnipiac Dining reminded  students that their meal points will not be rolling over into the next academic year, citing dining options that can help students spend extra dining dollars.

Bulk item purchasing, an initiative from last semester, has grown significantly. Students can purchase cases of ramen, condiments, pasta, desserts and more from all three dining halls.. Cafe Q has added a “Suite Meal Deals” fridge, full of pre-cooked entrees meant to serve three to four people. York Hill and North Haven dining halls added Meal Deals on Monday, Feb. 22.

The dining hall now sells things such as puzzles to help students use up their meal points. (Connor Lawless)

Peyton Marshall, a first-year political science major, loves the availability to purchase food and drinks in bulk.

“I buy bulk drinks as much as I can,” Marshall said. “I think it’s a great addition for QU and has definitely helped me stay hydrated. I don’t have to rush to the cafe in between classes to make sure I have what I need.”

Previously sponsored by the Student Programming Board, “Food Truck Fridays” have turned into food trucks every day. For the past two weeks, the Dining Advisory Board has worked to bring different trucks to Main and York Hill campuses for lunch and dinner. Food trucks will soon be on North Haven. Students can use meal points instead of cash to pay for their food, a change that has greatly increased traffic from last semester. 

Chris McGrath, a first-year journalism major, has loved having food trucks available as a meal option on campus.

“I’ve been using my meal points constantly at the food trucks,” McGrath said. “The lobster truck and Liberty Rock Tavern were my two favorites personally. Having the meal points replace cash is absolutely huge. I am way more likely to go to a food truck if meal points are an option.

Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellett said at the State of the QUnion on March 2, that 3,210 students bought food from the food trucks in the first two weeks of the program..

The Feb. 23, email updated students on the status of these trucks. 

 “Food trucks are on campus weekly, Monday – Thursday on Mount Carmel and Tuesdays & Thursdays on York Hill. Truck times are 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.. to10:00 p.m. on both campuses..”

McGrath was happy to hear about this change.

That would be great if they extended their hours,” McGrath said.

A desire for expanded options and more flavorful food was answered with homemade pasta sauces at York Hill and a wide array of house-made baked goods at Cafe Q.

Brunch boxes are available for students to fill a box with one meal item from any station, fruit, a dessert and two 20 oz. beverages. On Saturday and Sunday, Starbucks opens at 10 a.m., and Cafe Q remains open until 8 p.m. 

Later this semester, students can look forward to restaurant nights, in which family units can reserve a table of four and enjoy a five-course upscale meal complete with waiter service. This will offer a safer restaurant experience than breaking the Bobcat bubble off campus.

Students interested in advocating for a better dining experience can join the new dining advisory board that meets every other week in the student organization suite or on Zoom. Marshall is happy to see changes being made as a direct result of students’ advocating.

“You need to be conscious of the entire student population at Quinnipiac,” Marshall said. “Everybody has different diets/preferences when it comes to food. The more students speak up, the more honest our community will be about the quality of the food. It’s not great, and it could definitely be better. It’s in the student’s hands to use their voice to impose change.”