Where to Punch, When to Punch

Story by: Haley Quinn

Photos Courtesy of Lauren Sampson | The Breeze

Do you know how or where to use your meal plan? You most likely hear unfamiliar terms such as “punch” or “dining dollar” everyday and still secretly wonder if you are the only one feeling out of the loop. You’re not alone. JMU has a wide range of options on campus that will make the ins and outs of JMU dining fun and easy to grasp. From food courts and all-you-can-eat dining halls to food chains you’ve known and loved forever, your new home has something to satisfy every craving.

As a freshman, you have one of three meal plans JMU offers: The 14-plus plan, 11-plus plan or 19-plus plan. While each plan has its perks, they differ slightly from one another. The 14-plus plan allows you to punch 14 times per week, Sunday through Saturday, and comes with $275 in Dining Dollars. The 11-plus plan is the same, except you have 11 meal punches per week and $425 in Dining Dollars. The 19-plus plan allows 19 punches per week along with $175 in Dining Dollars. One punch is always equivalent to $7, no matter which meal plan you have chosen, and if you are purchasing enough food for two meals, you have the option to “double-punch.” You will most likely have leftover punches every week. Trust me, you will not make it to breakfast every morning. If you have a friend coming to visit for the weekend or an empty stomach and a long night ahead, using a double-punch would be smart. Here’s the catch — you can’t use your punches everywhere. Chains like Starbucks, Subway and Dunkin Donuts only accept Dining Dollars. Don’t fret, though — try to save those coffee splurges for when you really need them.

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