Elimination of Wildcat Deals has hurt UK students


Kernel Opinion SIG

Kaitlyn Roe

Does anyone remember Wildcat Deals?

Wildcat Deals gave students the ability to swipe their Student I.D. for a Chick-Fil-A sandwich, and it was pure magic. Unfortunately, the ability to use your meal swipes in exchange for a retail dining experience has been eliminated.

Starting the fall 2018 semester, UK made the bold decision to eliminate Wildcat Deals and only allow students to use meals swipes at residential dining facilities. This was a bad decision for UK students. 

This has resulted in an uproar over food service here at the university. Complaints of longer lines, more expenses and cleanliness issues have been brought up by the student body. The dining system at UK has changed drastically from last semester, but are these complaints valid? 

Speaking from personal experience, before the elimination of Wildcat Deals, I never waited in line for more than 10 minutes when getting lunch. I could confidently go to a place like Chick-Fil-A or Subway and grab a meal before my next class. Now, I have to pack my lunch before a long day of classes because the dining halls are short on food and I’m even shorter on time.

When the semester started, I thought I was the only one. But after speaking to both upperclassmen and freshmen, I now realize I am not alone.

Sophomore Cortney Crump lived on campus last year, and she spoke about what she has experienced since the change. 

“Because they got rid of the Wildcats Deals, it’s a struggle…” she said. “…There is less food, because more people are eating at the dining halls. It kind of sucks because The 90 and Champions are so similar, and if you want to eat somewhere else, it’s going to cost you Flex.”

Crump said that while UK officials claim they are doing what’s best for students, they took away Wildcat Deals, “something we loved.”

Freshman Casey Rierdon had a strong opinion about his initial experience with UK Dining.

“That stuff’s nasty,” he said. 

Responses like these should be concerning to university officials. Students are starting to notice a decline in their dining experience, and because dormitory residents must have an active meal plan, this could potentially persuade students to move off campus.

Not only have our dining halls changed in policy, but they’ve changed in quality. When a freshman’s initial response to UK dining is “nasty,” there’s a deeper problem than just longer lines. UK should seriously reconsider their decision to end Wildcat Deals.