James Kuchler, also known as “Peach“, is one of our Orientation Leaders from Dublin, Ohio. Peach is a junior finance and economics double major and currently serves as a Dining Ambassador on campus! See what our good pal Peach has to say about dining on SMU’s campus!
Flex or Pony? Subway or Umph? I’ll explain…
Eating on campus can seem complicated for an incoming student. I remember wondering what the difference between flex and pony were, or what counts as a meal swipe at Mac’s place. Since becoming a dining ambassador, I relay questions, comments, and concerns to SMU dining to improve the on-campus dining experience. The first thing to understand is what you get with your meal plan.
As an incoming First-year student you will be defaulted into an all you can eat plan with 200 flex. However, you can choose 200, 300, or even 500 dollars of flex. This amount will be deposited into your account at the beginning of each semester and will roll over fall to spring, but not from spring into the following fall. Flex can be spent on campus at places such as Chick-fil-a, Starbucks, and Subway to name a few. It is like having a debit card except only usable on campus. Another form of payment, Pony, can be used on or off campus at participating locations and is purchased separately from a meal plan.
With your meal plan you will have unlimited swipes to eat at the Arnold, Lee (also referred to as Umph), or Mac’s Place. Arnold and Lee are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner while Mac’s is open for lunch and dinner as well as a late night eating options. Dining hours can be found at smudining.com. Arnold and Umph are buffet style and have to go boxes in case you are on the run. They also offer great places to study during the day if you want to eat and work at the same time.
(Inside look at the Arnold Dining Commons located in the southeast quad)
Mac’s place is open until 1 in the morning Sunday-Thursday, with adjusted weekend hours. At Mac’s Place you can use your meal swipe to get an entrée plus two sides. This was by far one of the trickiest things for me to understand. First off the entrée can be a pizza, burger, chicken finger basket, individual cereal cup, salad, grilled cheese or grilled chicken sandwich. This will be included unless you add something to it. For instance, if I ordered a hamburger with bacon or avocado I would need to pay an extra surcharge on top of that. This is easily done using flex dollars. A drink counts as a side and can be a fountain drink, a small milk, or tea. Lastly sides can be French fries, a bag of chips, a fruit cup, or celery and peanut butter.
Be sure to follow SMU dining on Instagram and Twitter @SMUDining, and like them on Facebook, because you never know when they will do free giveaways or highlight special dining days like soul food night. There are tons of ways to maximize your dining experience on campus!!!