Region: Goleta

Allow Meal Swipe Transfers Between Students

Petition is directed to
UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang
17 supporters

Collection finished

17 supporters

Collection finished

  1. Launched April 2024
  2. Collection finished
  3. Prepare submission
  4. Dialog with recipient
  5. Decision

At UCSB, all students staying in on-campus housing are required to have purchased a meal plan that goes along with their room and board. These meal plans can be used at the dining halls located on campus, and it is up to the student to decide how many meals they want a week (out of the 3 set amounts that UCSB offers) and how frequently they want to use their swipes until they run out. UCSB’s meal plan policy does not allow the transfer of meal swipes from person to person, and it does not let students’ unused swipes roll over to upcoming weeks. 

The problem is that students who are on the meal plan that provides the lowest amount of meal swipes, 10 swipes/wk, and is the cheapest out of all 3 provided, are usually having to plan their meals in advance. This means choosing which days they would use their swipes at the dining halls and which days they might choose to skip and not go. For some students on this plan, skipping meals poses an issue. There are still students who do not have access to sources like CalFresh/EBT to buy food, and some students who don’t have a stable source of income to supplement eating out multiple times a week. 

But those with larger meal plans, with an average of 14 swipes/wk and 19 swipes/wk, are more than likely to not use all of their swipes in a week. Making those swipes useless by the time that a new week starts. This can be seen as a big waste of money for students with those plans as well as a big waste of resources overall, seeing as those swipes have already been paid for and aren’t being properly used. 


One way students can have better leverage against the meal swipe policy is through UCSB allowing students with meal plans to transfer their swipes however they want to. This can be seen through people having full control of who their swipes are going to if they aren’t able to use all of theirs up. An example of this would be someone transferring a friend who is out of swipes, a couple of their extra ones they know they won’t use so that their friend wouldn’t have to worry about being able to afford a meal. Since swipes have already been paid for, students should have more control over what they do with them without UCSB limiting access. 

Other state schools like UCLA, are well known for letting their students transfer meal swipes however they want to, with some people even selling theirs at a lower amount than the school offers to allow students who don’t live on campus to be able to still get a well-rounded meal. So why can’t UCSB follow the same path and allow students to transfer meal swipes as well? 

If you want to make a difference in ending food insecurity on campus, demanding this change is one of the first moves we can make to ensure that students at UCSB always have access to meals.

Thank you for your support, Erica Gaspar from Goleta
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