Baruch should offer affordable food alternatives for students

Baruch College is not a traditional school. It has a relatively small campus located in the crowded Flatiron District, and its students are mostly commuters. Because it's mainly a commuter school, Baruch lacks traditional college elements, like a football field or a dining hall, which would be okay if the college provided alternatives like a meal plan.

Like some of the other CUNY schools, such as Hunter College, College of Staten Island and the City College of New York, Baruch should offer students meal plans. CSI offers three different meal plans for the students who reside on campus. These students are mandated to pick a plan. The college also offers a much cheaper, voluntary meal-plan option for commuter students.

There is no cafeteria in the Baruch College Residence Hall, but there is a shared kitchen available on the first floor. However, a shared kitchen is not ideal for many students, especially those who follow certain dietary restrictions.

Unlike these other CUNY institutions, Baruch doesn't have a cafeteria serving hot food for students in the Newman Vertical Campus. Having at least this cafeteria would save a lot of time for hungry students who only have a small slot of time between classes.

There used to be hot food served at Baruch with options such as pizza and Chinese food, but that's been gone for two years now. This is not to say that Baruch offers no food options at all; the college does offer the services of the Avenue C: Food and Beverage Market, but the market only sells cold, refrigerated items and hot beverages.

The school also has vending machines on almost every floor of the NVC, but these options do not appeal to all students — there are many who would rather eat a hot meal for lunch rather than a bag of chips or ice cream.

It'd be a wise move for Baruch to partner with surrounding businesses that can offer students cheaper food options. There are a few dining locations around the campus that offer student discounts with identification, but these are not enough. The Flatiron District contains a variety of restaurants, cafes and stores.

If Baruch partnered with more local restaurants, students with certain dietary restrictions can have their needs met as well. Without discounts, some of these places can be expensive for students, especially if students need to buy food on a daily basis.