For our project, we wanted to research how students spend their money on campus especially in relation to food. This topic is extremely important right now on Kalamazoo College’s campus with the new process of bidding for a new food provider. With this new process students are getting to voice their opinions on the topic and student spending is an extremely important variable that must be considered when revamping the meal system at Kalamazoo. We posed several research questions like how did the economic downturn affect the way that the student spends and how does their family situation (income and number of siblings in college) effect spending. There were several interesting findings. In the past month, students spent on average $123.34. This number may seem relatively high but when we took into account the random error that could happen the range is much larger. Another interesting finding is that students are relatively indifferent to the dining system that we have in place at Kalamazoo College. With an average rating of 3.27 out of 5, most students seem to not be super dissatisfied with the dining situation on campus, contrary to what we had thought would happen at the beginning of our research.
Students tended to want more options in the cafeteria and have more options in their meal plans. One interesting piece of data that we collected was that an overwhelming majority of students spent their munch money at Biggby Coffee. Another piece of data that should be considered is that there is not many students subsidizing the meal plan with their own groceries and that should be taken into consideration with the new bidding process for the new food service. The final interesting data that we collected was the fact that exactly fifty percent of students would be willing to pay more money per quarter for better quality food in the cafeteria. This finding is important because it voices the opinion that students want higher quality food made.