Meal Plan Is A Scam

Extra, extra: Meal plan is a scam. (If meal plan is a part of your financial aid package, please read until the end.)

Here’s the meal plan situation by the numbers:

When examining these numbers, take into consideration that millennials spend an average of $237 dollars on groceries per month, which comes to about $2.67 per meal (assuming three meals a day). If you’re still not shocked, take into account that these numbers assume that you have no points or credits left at the end of the semester (which, I’ve never personally witnessed), and that you never spend a penny eating out.

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What we’re reading: Campus responses to the BDH

In light of the recent opinions articles published by The Brown Daily Herald, there have been numerous statements and articles written by individual Brown students and student-run organizations. As a widely read campus publication, we have a privilege and a duty to inform Brown students of campus happenings and to serve as a platform that elevates marginalized voices on Brown’s campus. Below is a collection of the responses that embody many of the discussions happening on our campus.

We encourage readers to read these statements and articles in their entirety. If any individual students, organizations, or groups wish to have their published works included in this piece, please email blog@browndailyherald.com.

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In a guest column for the BDH“Exchange Columbus: The case for Indigenous People’s Day,”  Native Americans At Brown argues why the University should change fall weekend to Indigenous People’s Day, and provides the historical and current context of the Native American experience:

“This is not just a symbolic or political stance that we are taking. Our continuing fight for Native visibility on campus has consequences for us as students, Native communities and the greater campus community of students of color. We are living testaments to Native resistance, and we are requesting a celebration of ourselves and millions of others like us, rather than a University erasure of the genocide that we had to fight back to get here. This renaming of Fall Weekend is just one small step in longer walk towards institutionalizing real support for Native students.”

NAB has also released a petition to the University that currently has over 1,000 signatures.

Leaders of several Black student organizations released a joint statement to the Brown Daily Herald in which they demand accountability and reform from the editorial board:

“As the oldest and most prominent publication on this campus, we hold the BDH accountable as an organization for their practices and how they approach controversial issues. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, whether or not students disagree; however, as an organization with privilege, power, and a platform, the BDH is, and will be, held to a higher standard than any one individual.”

“A Statement from a Collective of AAPI Students,” published in bluestockings magazine, is a statement of solidarity written by a collective of Asian/Asian American and Pacific Islander students at Brown, which calls on AAPI students to take action and speaks on AAPI complicity:

“In weaponizing the model minority myth, white supremacy broadcasts the economic success of a narrow subset of Asian Americans in the United States to justify the oppression of Native and Black communities. AAPI complicity and active participation in white supremacy can and does happen. This complicity upholds the systemic oppression of all communities of color. As AAPI people, our own shared histories of imperialism are connected to those of other people of color… we must be even more thoughtful and compassionate in the ways we build coalition with communities of color whose oppression we have historically benefited from.”

In this bluestockings magazine editors statement, the magazine speaks to ethical journalism and offers itself as a platform and space for response:

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Badami ’11: A humble solution for BDS

I’m not about to call the recent BDS demonstrations by concerned undergraduates sanctimonious; it is my heartfelt belief that those protesting genuinely care about the many individuals who tirelessly serve us. Begrudgingly, I even stood through one of their jejune man-puppet displays on my way to a Ratty dinner.

But I also understand the difficult decision of the folks holding the purse strings, the ever-lambasted Brown Corporation. Every financial determination they must make is a tradeoff – some must lose so that others may subsist. In this case, the Corporation has proposed a “sliding scale” to determine BDS workers’ health care premiums. (Interestingly, this scheme is similar to the US progressive tax system, something many SDS and SLA members, I imagine, would support.) The university also plans on refashioning the retirement benefits for new hires and is considering a wage freeze.

I would like here to offer a solution to this current predicament. I mean this without a drop of Swiftian satire: Brown should simply institute a tuition hike.

Why can’t undergraduates, quite literally, put their money where their mouth is? If they so ardently care about the plight of BDS workers, they will have no hesitation in coughing up a few extra grand a semester to offset the cost of lower healthcare premiums and increased wages. But if you feel the same moral confusion that I do when considering this dilemma, perhaps you can begin to sympathize with the tough, inevitably unpopular decision the Corporation must make. The protests so far have been useful, but keep in mind the underlying tension of the Corporation’s decision as you march your man-puppet across the Main Green. In the end, you may get more than you bargained for.

Anthony Badami ’11

Opinions Columnist