The Ramblers basketball season might be over, but the impact of their incredible performance will linger on at Loyola long after the final buzzer.
Loyola’s campus has been an exciting place to be since the team started gaining national attention. Every game it won, the crowds grew and the screams of celebration amplified. In the spirit of the excitement, Loyola’s bookstore increased its apparel and merchandise circulation, even making widely popular Sister Jean merchandise. Whatever money this made only added to the $1.7 million the team won each game.
Loyola’s spike in its sales of spirited merchandise, along with its newfound fame, could lead to an influx in prospective students for the university. But what does all of this mean for Loyola and its current students?
Eyes may begin turning to the dining halls. Some students have complained about the recent changes to the dining hall menus, especially those at Simpson Hall where the drive for healthier and allergen-free options has lead to fewer choices. People complain the food is unappetizing and not worth the $2,500 price-tag for the cheapest 5-day meal plan.
Some students like the idea of an allergen-free dining environment but feel this concept was poorly implemented, according to an article previously published in The PHOENIX. Although food choices may be more limited for those with food allergies or dietary restrictions, there should still be plenty to choose from on the menu. Unfortunately, Loyola removed many of its options and left few choices for students looking for a meal.
I would suggest Loyola use the money resulting from NCAA Tournament successes to reduce the cost of the meal plan and improve the options available.
Using profits made from the team’s journey up to the Final Four to create an improved dining experience would help students feel as if their voices were heard as well as show students the impact the Ramblers’ success has had on their university.
Loyola has earned $8.5 million for its 10-team conference alone, to be paid out in $140,000 annual allotments over the next six years, according to a Bloomberg report. Some of this could be allocated either to covering these meal plans or adding more choices to the halls. Loyola has a high tuition rate and this would relieve some of the financial pressure that comes along with attending university for many students.
The success of the Ramblers might not necessarily mean better dining options in the future, but their financial success could mean future improvements for Loyola. The excitement felt by all those who watched each game and cheered the team on will have a lasting impact whether or not it means changes for the dining options.