For those students at Ohio University struggling with grocery shopping, the markets are the equivalent of a Kroger that is actually within walking distance. Grocery shopping is one of the many struggles that college students face, and at Ohio University it is made a little easier with the markets.
There are three markets around campus (Boyd, Jefferson, and Nelson), one on each of the residential greens. On week days each market is open late into the night, with Nelson and Boyd Markets closing at midnight and Jefferson Market closing at 10 p.m. This makes life as a college kid a little easier already.
Why not just make the trip to Kroger or Wal-Mart? First off, the markets are a lot closer. But in addition to that, Ohio University has designed a nifty way to tie in the students’ meal swipes and the markets. If a student has one of the Flex meal plans, they can use their swipes at the markets if they don’t end up using them at the dining halls. Each swipe counts as $6.25 at the markets, and some grocery shopping can be done.
What about the students without Flex meal plans? They aren’t completely out of luck. If they want to, they can use their own cash to buy things at the markets. However, there are some students who work around this. As a student with one of the standard meal plans, having friends with Flex meal plans is advantageous for me. Sure, some students like to keep their swipes to themselves, but some don’t mind sharing. As an example, freshman publication design major Becca Ryan and her friends make deals over their swipes. She has a Flex plan, and she offers that if one of her friends with a standard meal plan swipes her into the dining hall for a meal, she’ll take the $6.25 worth of swipe that she would have used there and buy her friend groceries from the market later in the week. No meal swipes are wasted in the process of those deals.
As a student living in a dorm without a car on campus, the markets make any grocery shopping I need to do insurmountably easier. The markets are accessible, convenient, and offer most things a student would need. More importantly, there are ways, even if they have to be discovered by the students themselves, that the markets can be utilized by everyone.