Tips and tricks to get the best bang for your buck at Cleveland Commons


Illustration by Hannah Paul

Fielding Schaefer, Dry-Erase Board Supremacist

Your flex dollars are precious. Despite all your good karma from returning your eco takeout and tweeting about social justice, you’re often served less dinner than you’d like. Here’s a foolproof guide on how to #hack Cleveland Commons. 

  1.  Everyone knows that Bon App serves more food to bigger students. Make a daily practice of wearing a minimum of 4 layers to Cleveland to appear much larger and in need of calories than you truly are. Better yet, hop on your friend’s shoulders and squeeze into a trench coat, purchase your food, switch positions, then repeat. 
  2. Befriend at least one male basketball player. Anyone works. Be sure to follow him to Cleveland everyday without him noticing. You don’t want to be known as the classic person-that-stalks-basketball-players-for-their-bonapp-portions. That’s just poor taste. Give him your swipe when you bump into him there. Then make him walk through the food line for you. A true friend will always help.
  3. This tactic is especially effective for those with stellar victim complexes: after you’re served, gaze wistfully at the larger-rationed plate in front of yours until the server pities your poor soul with a few more french fries.
  4. Bluntly asking for “as much as you can give me without having to pay” is for cheapskates and the unappreciative, which is exactly what you’re trying to hide about yourself here. Humans are very susceptible to emotional manipulation, so instead, use those puppy eyes to ask for “just a liiittttlle bit more, please.” Be sure to follow up the script with “thank you so much.” Gratitude is one of the best Cleveland #hacks. 
  5. Go to Cleveland with a cohort of friends. Eat a very small meal and complain about being hungry after. Subsist off the scraps your friends throw at you. *DISCLAIMER: this tactic may be tricky for some, as it requires having friends.*
  6. Care about the environment? Want some complimentary dumpster diving clout? Simply submerge yourself in the “landfill” bin near the dish pit. Reap the abundance of free food dropped by students.

*This guide is not approved by the FDA. It is sponsored by your tuition paying me to write this for work study, so thanks. I hope the money gets back to you in saved flex dollars.