Pan Needs More Panther Bucks



Story by Michael Lanoie

It was midnight. Jason Pan’s stomach growled. He had no car. He had no money. All he had was his Chapman student ID. He stumbled down the stairs into Henley Basement. He mumbled the word “pizza”. Norma handed him the slice. She swiped his card.

Pan had no more Panther Bucks.

“If you aren’t careful the bucks disappear before your eyes,” said Pan, Chapman business freshman.

Pan is one of thousands of Chapman students who have Panther Bucks. The invisible money given to students who purchase a meal plan is used to purchase food and drink items around campus.

Chapman students responded to questions about Panther Bucks and dining options. With over three hundred responses it is safe to say that Chapman students are hungry.

Of the three hundred and twenty five students asked 52% of students are somewhere in-between a little disappointed and highly unsatisfied. Another 37% of students said that they are mostly satisfied but desire more variety. 11% of students said they are content with the food on campus.

The food on Chapman’s campus is all ran through Sodexo. Their options for dining include: Randall Dining Commons, Einstein Bros Bagels, WOW Café and Wingery, Subversions, Jazzman’s Café and Bakery, Jamba Juice, Rotunda, and Doy’s Place.

Students voiced their favorites as WOW and Doy’s. Both places are open at times that the Dining Commons are not.

“The hours of the caf are not suited for college students,” said Chapman business sophomore Hunter Collinson, “I am not getting up at eight-thirty for breakfast and I am still hungry after eight at night.”

For many students this is when Panther Bucks come in handy.

Whether it’s time for the afternoon snack or the midnight meal Chapman students have options for food on campus.

Several students shared their favorite items.

Sophomore film student Farrah Su loves the iced coffee at Jazzman’s. She recommended it for anyone who needs to stay awake in a class.

Matt Garcia, another sophomore film major, said he orders the chicken quesadilla every time he goes to WOW.

Even senior bio-chem major Chad Walker occasionally buys a large pomegranate pick-me-up from Jamba Juice.

Other favorite items include pizza for Doy’s, California rolls from Subversions, and toasted bagels from Einstein Bros.

Despite students sharing their favorite items, there were several students that voiced their problems with food on campus.

“They have incentive to not produce quality food,” said sophomore business major Zach Roskopf, “because the money you don’t spend is profit for them.”

Roskopf is not alone in this theory.

“Overall [Panther Bucks] is a tactic for students to perhaps spend more money then they would have,” said junior English major Julie Nguyen, “and they buy into it because it’s the only option they have.”

Some students are unhappy about the monopoly that Sodexo has over Chapman food. Ali Blum, a junior business major and Alumni chair for Alpha Kappa Psi, has worked with Sodexo in catering an event for her organization.

“It’s difficult to plan what you want when it comes to food,” said Blum, “if it’s over a certain amount of money then they take complete control.”

“Do we really want these people in charge of what food we eat?” said Blum.

Other students are more bothered by the price of the food than the quality. It currently costs between twelve and fifteen Panther Bucks to swipe into the Dining Commons. The cheapest plan is $120 and that includes one hundred and twenty-five Panther Bucks.

“Honestly it’s cheaper to take your friends out to eat,” said sophomore television student Nick Vieira, “it’s a hell of a lot less convenient though.”

Chapman students have more Panther Bucks to spend since Sodexo raised the amount given in 2011. They have not expanded the options to use Panther Bucks in recent years. According to Jack Raubolt, senior consultant of projects and controls at Chapman, Sodexo plans to add a Starbucks in Beckman Hall.

Will the Starbucks allow students to pay with Panther Bucks?

Many students agreed they would be angry if the Starbucks did not allow Panther Bucks.

Not every student is happy spending his or her Panther Bucks now. However there are those who are happy helping those students. Norma, a popular worker at Doy’s, always serves students with a smile. She said that she enjoys working every night although she wishes she could offer more students more options.

However her biggest wish is that she could have helped Jason on that hungry night. 

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