‘Order Up and Anchor Down’: Students to be able to use meal swipes at basketball games

Partnership between Dining and Athletics gives students two options for a meal swipe at men’s and women’s basketball games


Emily Gonçalves

Vanderbilt University students cheer on the Commodores at Memorial Gymnasium during the 2018-19 men’s basketball season. (Hustler Multimedia/Emily Gonçalves)

Rachel Friedman, Editor in Chief

Campus Dining and Athletics are partnering to allow students, faculty and staff to use meal swipes at men’s and women’s basketball games. The program came to fruition following a proposal from VSG.

The initiative, “Order Up and Anchor Down” will begin at the Nov. 20 men’s basketball game against Austin Peay at 7 p.m. Standard meal plans, flex meals, guest meals and faculty/staff flex meals are all redeemable in Memorial Gym during home basketball games.

VSG President Frances Burton and Vice President Veer Shah met with Vanderbilt Athletics Mic Men and the Interfraternity Council president to brainstorm ways to increase school spirit and get students to games, Burton said. After coming up with the idea of allowing students to be able to use meal swipes at sporting events, they presented the idea to Campus Dining. Dining was enthusiastic, Burton said, and moved quickly to talk to vendors about the possibility of instituting the program.

While the initial goal was to institute the program at football games, Burton said, the details began to come together in time for Dining to aim for basketball season. Dining is currently looking into bringing a meal swipe options to other sports games, Campus Dining Marketing Manager Jessica Williams said.

There are two options for fans using a meal swipe, according Williams. The options are a hot dog or a chicken caesar salad. Both options include popcorn and a medium fountain drink.

Because the program is through third party vendors, Dining has limited flexibility in regard to the menu, Williams said. When asked about vegan and vegetarian options for students, Williams said, “We will make sure this becomes a topic of conversation moving forward.”

The meal plan option is only available at the concession stands near Sections H/I/J by the student section, Williams said.

The program got off the ground quickly, which was particularly exciting, Burton said.

“A success would be students deciding, ‘I’m going to go to the game, get dinner, watch and cheer on our fellow students who are on the team,’ and build more of a culture around going to the games,” Burton said. “Adding the option of being able to use a meal swipe really creates the space to do so.”