Campus ‘milks’ students’ money

David Taintor

After my first full day of classes at UW-Eau Claire, there was a rumbling in my stomach that only one thing could silence. Taco Bell. Being a brand new transfer student straight from the ghetto of Milwaukee (Marquette University), I couldn’t help but be excited to use my meal plan to obtain the wonderful quesadilla at Taco Bell. It was a moment I will always remember.

After a slight wait, I received the culinary masterpiece that is a Taco Bell quesadilla.

I grab a small, 12-oz bottle of chocolate milk and proceed to the checkout line that, until recently, was a mile and a half long.

The nice worker scans the milk, hits a button and says $3.58. I do a bit of quick math and realize that my $3.50 transfer value won’t cover it! I’m eight cents short! I had no idea what to do.

I didn’t want to use another transfer for only eight cents. I didn’t want to use a dollar and walk around with 92 cents change in my pocket. I didn’t want to use my checking account to take only eight cents out. What is a new student to do?

Thankfully there was a very nice young lady behind me that said, “just put it on your declining.” I had no idea what declining was, so I had to ask. To my amazement I found a way to cover the eight cents that worked well for my money and me.

After my small panic attack, that panic turned to rage – realizing that in order to quench my thirst for milk, I must pay extra. I could feel the Hulk in me coming out, but my better judgment got a hold of me and I didn’t go Hulk-smash on Hilltop.

Now I realize it’s only eight cents extra, but that eight cents will add up over time. Plus, I’m only getting 12 fluid ounces. If I were to get lemonade or Pepsi, I would get anywhere from 16 fluid ounces to 32 – depending on if I sip steal.

Yes, food court people, I do, on occasions, fill a cup with lemonade while waiting for my food, drink it all, and then refill it. What are you going to do? Take my meal plan away? I think not.

Anyway – back to this terrible injustice. Is it really that hard to lower the price of the small bottle of milk eight cents? Or, if you’re going to make me pay extra, at least make it worth it by giving me a 16-oz bottle or 20-oz.

McDonalds offers milk as an option with my happy meals. Yes, I do get happy meals. I feel the portion is right for me, plus I love getting those awesome toys! So if it’s not too hard for Mickey D’s, it shouldn’t be too hard for Blugold Dining to offer milk as a beverage option.

While we’re at it, do you think Blugold Dining could offer us awesome free toys?

Also, why aren’t there any vending machines with milk in them? Every vending machine I’ve seen has no milk in it. What happens when I’m close to being late for class and I need to have my milk fix and I can’t wait in line at Davies or Hilltop? Well, right now, other milk drinkers and I are screwed.

It’s really not all that hard to have milk in a vending machine; I mean my high school had milk in every vending machine. So it shouldn’t be too hard here.

If milk is more accessible on campus it will not only please those milkthirsty students such as myself. It will also provide a healthier option for students rather than soda (it’s soda – not pop) or Powerade. And, even better, it will stimulate Wisconsin’s economy, since milk is big business here. Isn’t that what we need most in these hard economic times?

Do I expect anything to come out of this article? Probably not. But as a true blue Wisconsinite – I love the Packers, the Badgers, the Brewers and milk.

I find it a great injustice that we must pay extra for milk and our vending machines don’t carry this wonderful, tasty, healthy beverage.

Schmidtke is a freshman history major and guest columnist for The Spectator.