EDITORIAL: $18 Isn’t Enough


PHOTO / Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash

As a college, we are so lucky to have faculty, staff and an administration that cares about “high impact practices” and invests in our real-world experiences. As college students, some of our most valuable education comes from what we can’t get in a classroom. From conferences to performances, students have the opportunity to engage in meaningful experiences supported by the college.

Although the college covers our transportation, admission and lodging, there’s one thing lacking: adequate meal planning.

Piedmont College gives students on school-sponsored trips $18/day for food. While this might be enough for fast food lunch and dinner in Demorest, it isn’t that way for the rest of the country. CNN Money reported in 2005 that in our nation’s capital, the average meal costs about 33 dollars. Budget Your Trip estimates that one day of meals in the U.S. costs about 42 dollars. How are students supposed to eat three meals a day on 18 dollars? That’s six dollars a meal– nine if you skip breakfast.

The Roar estimates that students pay about $12.55 per meal with Piedmont’s least expensive dining plan, meaning the amount of money given to students for three meals on college-approved trips wouldn’t even buy two meals in the cafeteria. 

On our recent trip to Washington, D.C. for the National College Media Convention, the Roar staff ran out of money. Even with complimentary hotel breakfast and our adviser paying for a meal, we were scrounging for money in college student-sized bank accounts. Over our last few days, some of us went hungry. 

As a staff and as students, we are incredibly appreciative of the support we receive from Piedmont. We need these High Impact Practices to become better students, journalists and people. But we also need to eat.