Aramark, the managing group behind Georgetown’s dining services, began imposing a stricter enforcement of their policy banning students from swiping more than once into O’Donovan Hall at the start of the semester.

Joelle Wiese, the associate vice president of auxiliary business services, said that Leo’s staff have noticed students swiping other students into the eatery.

“For the past few years, we’ve been pretty lax about it, but we noticed that it was being abused,” Wiese said. “We noticed many people selling their swipes outside of Leo’s.”

Although the policy has existed for years, many students have still been able to swipe their GOCard more than once into Leo’s to gain access for other students. Aramark is now tightening its regulations.

“The meal plans have always been non-transferable, similar to a Yates membership,” Wiese said. “We are simply enforcing the policy just like any other group would do in these circumstances.”

According to Wiese, Aramark has trained its staff to enforce the policy more strictly than before.

“We have increased training with the staff and clarified the policy with the entire team,” Wiese said.

Ram Nabar, executive director of Aramark at Georgetown, said that the policy helps ensure that older students do not force underclassmen into swiping them into Leo’s.

“It’s a matter of fairness, especially for underclassmen, who could be told by upperclassmen without meal plans to swipe them in,” Nabar said.

Students with block plans are still able to give their meal swipes to other students.

According to the Georgetown Dining website, disciplinary action may be taken if a student uses a GoCard other than his own to gain access to the dining halls. Leo’s staff will send ID information to both the GoCard Office and the university for further action, which in some cases could include suspension of dining privileges.

Two guest passes are included with the unlimited, weekly and block meal plans for use throughout the semester, intended for students to bring non-Georgetown students into Leo’s.

Additionally, meal swipes can be donated to charitable organizations for special occasions throughout the year, such as the end of the fall semester nearing the holiday season.

Meanwhile, students are still permitted to swipe in twice for themselves during the same meal period, once each at the all-you-care-to-eat facility at Leo’s and a Grab ’n’ Go location.

However, several students are critical of the policy. Some argue that it is problematic for those who have lost or misplaced their GOCards.

Quinn Larkin (COL ’18) said that he was denied access to Leo’s after misplacing his GOCard and using his friend’s, despite repeatedly explaining his circumstances to the staff.

“I tried to get a friend to swipe me in, but they kept saying that I had to swipe in with my own card,” Larkin said. “I think they should be more lenient with this rule.”

Richard Jung (SFS ’15) said that since students have already paid for their meal plans, they should have the right to share swipes with others.

“It is paid for, and it is given to another person from the purchaser,” Jung said. “It’s a small gift given from one person to another, and not something for the Leo’s management to cry wrongdoing and ban.”

Weekly meal plans range in price from $1,958 a semester for 10 meals a week to $2,519.50 a semester for 18 meals a week.

Jung said that he was also denied access to Leo’s when using a friend’s card to swipe in.

“I think Leo’s recent decision to ban people from transferring their own meal plans as they see fit is ridiculous, and is a classical case of tyranny of market power,” Jung said. “Leo’s is guaranteed a certain level of demand because the school forces the freshmen and sophomores to buy a meal plan that they will most likely not find fully useful.”

9 Comments

  1. “For the past few years, we’ve been pretty lax about it, but we noticed that it was being abused,” Wiese said. “We noticed many people selling their swipes outside of Leo’s.”

    What is Wiese smoking? Is she seriously going to make stuff up and tell that to a student newspaper?

    “It’s a matter of fairness, especially for underclassmen, who could be told by upperclassmen without meal plans to swipe them in,” Nabar said.

    Nabar and Wiese must be smoking the same stuff. Where did he get this unfounded hallucination that juniors and seniors are bullying freshmen to swipe them in? As a senior, I’m glad I’m out of Leo’s and wouldn’t go back to eat there even if you paid me. If juniors and seniors are going to Leo’s, it’s because we’re hanging out with underclassmen, and Leo’s not swiping people in just means we’re going to take our business elsewhere.

    “Suspension of dining privileges” = so if people don’t comply with Leo’s moneymaking strategies, they’ll ban them from eating? Georgetown, it might be a good idea to put those Jesuit values into play at some point. Oh, and fire Joelle Wiese while at it.

  2. If I’ve already paid for 14 meals a week, why on earth should it matter who eats them? Aramark has already been paid, and I’m losing those swipes at the end of the week. If I’d like to eat with an upperclassman friend and can’t afford to eat elsewhere, it’s absurd to stop me from swiping them in with an extra pre-paid swipe. We’re adults and more than capable of not being “bullied” into swiping others in. Where’s the respect for our agency?

  3. I wonder how Wiese “noticed” that people were selling their swipes outside of Leo’s. Not only is this something that doesn’t happen in the first place, but is also impossible to “notice outside of Leo’s.” This is a whole bunch of bullshit

  4. Thomas Paine says:

    This is tyranny, the likes of which I have never seen before.

  5. It’s about time someone spoke up about the Leo’s black market. I am tired of seeing defenseless freshmen forced to sell their Leo’s swipes to junior and senior bullies for sub-prime rates, at the risk of being forced to give them up for nothing. Thank you Georgetown for taking another brave stand to improve student life.

  6. The only people bullying here are the administrators who force students to get subpar meal plans and then refuse to 1) let people opt out 2) let meals carry over (not even for a single week after?!) and 3) let students share said subpar food with other students.

    Also, a justification for the possible third-year meal plan requirement was a “student community” feel to Leo’s. Then why won’t they let other students (who might not have meal plans) in…? LEO’S: at least be up-front/semi-consistent about your awful policies.

  7. Yes…because upperclassmen without meal plans are just dying to get into Leo’s…..I think it’s about time Georgetown students start organizing a boycott of Aramark. I think Jetties, Tombs, Booey’s, Dominos, and Good Stuff would love the influx of customers if Georgetown students stopped going to Leo’s for a week.

  8. I’ve walked into Leo’s many times, but not once have I seen anyone ever sell swipes to anyone else (let alone be bullied into it) like some sort of black market drug deal. The only time I ever swipe other people in is when I know I won’t be using all of my swipes that week (or, now that I have a block plan, for the semester), and I certainly wouldn’t charge a friend for it if it was just a one-time thing and wasn’t causing me to go hungry or anything. This is just a blatant lie to try to force some small fraction of students to pay $14 (or whatever it is) for a meal in cash so that they can sit with their friends at lunch.

    Does Leo’s not realize that, if there really are upperclassmen who bully freshmen into buying them lunch (which there aren’t), forcing those upperclassmen to choose between paying $14 for a mediocre meal at Leo’s and forcing their freshman food slave to go to Chipotle for $9 is going to result in fewer students eating at Leo’s? On second thought, maybe that’s the goal, since Aramark has already collected the money in advance for all weekly swipes and they disappear if unused – and Aramark would ideally like to never have to actually serve a single meal as long as it can still somehow collect the $2000/semester.

  9. Someone should also note the fact that she worked for Aramark for 4 years. Conflict of interest?

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