Duke Dining removes food points, installs trade-and-barter system

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Tired of choosing between starving yourself on Duke Dining’s Plan A or treating all your friends to Nasher Brunch on Plan D? Stress no more, because food points have now been abolished, according to a Thursday email from Roberto Coldbrew, executive director of dining services.

In place of food points, Duke Dining has created a trade-and-barter system, in which students can pay for their meals with “objects of equivalent value,” per the email. Each dining location will have a blue bucket by its cash register in which students can place their tradable item.

Additionally, citing inflation, Coldbrew wrote that Brodhead Center’s food has increased in value. Students can now expect a Ginger & Soy Seoul Bowl to cost a MacBook Air, and the Farmstead salmon will require them to give up their Blue Zone parking pass for two days.  

Junior Nofu da Points said she went to Sazon on Friday to buy a quesadilla for lunch, and the man working at the cash register informed her she had to give up her left shoe. 

“I was like, ‘No way, I just bought these new Golden Gooses last week,’” da Points said. “He looked me straight in the eyes and just threw my quesadilla in the trash can.”

Many students are finding that the new system has negative effects on their social lives and academic performance. First-year Iyam Hongree said he wasn’t able to take his Calc 2 midterm because right before class he used his TI-84 calculator to buy a turkey sandwich from Panera.

“I might not pass the course, but at least my stomach wasn’t growling during the exam,” Hongree said.

The trade-and-barter system will especially affect students on financial aid, as they will no longer receive assistance with their meal plan. However, Coldbrew provided alternative solutions for students who cannot afford Brodhead Center prices. 

“We have established a few budget-friendly dining options, such as Pitchfork’s and Zweli’s Cafe, which will offer daily deals such as ‘One hamburger in exchange for giving a campus tour to prospective students,‘ and ‘Unlimited cups of tomato soup for a donation to the Duke Annual Fund,’” he wrote.

When asked by The Chomicle for comment on what happens if a student runs out of items to trade, Coldbrew responded, “What are you, poor? This is Duke, figure it out yourself.”

Editor's Note: Happy April Fools' Day! In case you couldn't tell, this was a story for our satirical edition, The Chomicle. Check out more Chomicle stories here, guaranteed to make you laugh or your money back.


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