Around this time each semester, the air around Berkeley typically reeks of desperation. With finals but a few days away now, the collective brains of Cal students have been fried to the point where all kinds of weird things can happen. Last semester, someone finally lost it and attempted to sell a vacant seat in Main Stacks — reportedly the only one remaining. This time around, it’s a new moneymaking scheme: People are attempting to sell their meal points.
Meal points, as everyone in their freshman year would tell you, are one of the hindrances that you just have to deal with. They bind you to the dining halls with the sheer guilt you feel about eating out when you know that you have mountains of points left over. Of course, this consequently leads to inordinate weight gain, which is hard to work off even by running the length of campus. And even if you do eat every meal in the dining halls and buy your groceries from campus facilities, you’ll still have a solid amount left over. This isn’t typically a big deal at the end of the fall semester because some of them can roll over, but all those accumulated points now face imminent destruction if they aren’t used within the next week and a half.
Though this isn’t the most efficient of business models, it does appear to have some value. When signing up, only “berkeley.edu” email addresses are accepted, and hence certain contact details of the sellers will only be released to Berkeley students. The interface is admittedly easy to follow — a simple spreadsheet-type layout with each entry containing the names of sellers, their selling price, their max number of points and the locations at which they can facilitate your purchases. Some have also posted details about discounts for buying in bulk, for those who are thinking of buying out Bear Market. We can only imagine how awkward it would be to be accompanied by a total stranger to all your meals, but if for whatever reason, you’re longing for dining hall food for cheap, this is your website.
Image source: Aaron Loessberg-Zahl under Creative Commons