The freshman dining experience: A swipe into the social scene

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BYU freshmen who live in non-cooking dorms spend much of their meal time socializing, making places like the Cannon Center a crucial part of the first-year experience.

BYU has more than 15 dining options on campus. The majority of freshmen living in non-cooking dorms go to the Cannon Center for all three meals. The dining plans range from $500 to $1,950 a semester and can be used throughout campus with the swipe of a signature card.

A common phenomenon with freshman dining plans is friends swiping their signature cards at dining locations, such as the Cannon Center, to pay for meals. Some freshmen use it for dates or an opportunity to get to know someone new.

“I wouldn’t do it a lot because I would run out of money,” said Jacob Clarke, a freshman from California. “But it’s one way to meet girls. If you want to meet new people, we go to the Cannon and sit down with people.”

Some students who aren’t even freshmen are enjoying the “perks” of having younger students swipe their cards for a free meal.

“We just walked up to this boy and asked him if he would swipe us in,” said Chelsea Hildt, a junior from Arizona. “We didn’t think he’d do it, but I think he thought my friend was cute so he paid for all three of us.”

The freshman dining experience isn’t the same all across the board. Some students find it easier to stay late on campus and enjoy the Cougareat, while others find different options that fit their schedule.

“I’m on the cross-country team, so I’m always at the Field House,” said Ashley Elliott, a freshman from California. “I don’t have time to go all the way to the Cannon Center, so I just grab food at Legends a lot.”

Some freshmen feel they suffer socially if they don’t eat at the Cannon Center or around friends.

“I get to see my friends a lot after school and practice, but it would be nice to just sit with them and eat dinner or hang out more,” Elliott said.

Freshmen might not realize the power they hold with their signature cards. This article explains why upperclassmen also find the Cannon Center so appetizing.

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