Low On Meal Plan, Freshmen Experience First Shocking Taste of Poverty
MCELROY COMMONS — The walls of Carney Dining Hall, once echoing with carefree laughter and the joyous symphony of Upper residents enjoying lukewarm food, took a somber tone this past weekend as many students were forced to confront the reality of their economic standing in the mandatory meal plan.
“The gravity of the situation didn’t really hit me until I realized I don’t have enough money to get an Odwalla with every meal,” confided freshman Claire Moore, while she was eating dinner with her floormates. “I’ve never considered myself poor before, I mean my dad makes over $200k a year, but like this has to be what poverty feels like.”
In register lines, many students could be seen second-guessing their steak tip dinners. Others were heard debating the morality of stealing small food items from beneath the gaze of the unsuspecting dining staff.
One Gonzaga Hall resident, Matthew Fahey (CSOM ‘21), stated that his lack of meal plan funds has given him a new perspective on life. “Growing up I always considered myself pretty wealthy, I mean my parents are pretty much paying for me to go here. I used to think that poverty was the stuff I see in the news, you know, like the people on food stamps. But now I totally know how it feels to be poor,” said Fahey.
After speaking to reporters, Fahey could be seen telling a low-income student from his Portico class that he “totally gets it now” and that they “are in the same boat honestly”.
At the time of press, dozens of students from Connecticut were observed applying for FAFSA grants due to their newfound economic status.