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Quarter dog price increase doesn’t add up

Adam Alongi | Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I am writing in response to the Aug. 31 article “‘Quarter dog’ prices rise at the Huddle?” (Sarah Felsenstein, Aug.31). I respect the business decision to increase quarter dog prices, but I believe that the price increase will do far more harm than good in the long term. I understand the price increase was made because the Huddle loses money on every dog sold. However, I think there are better solutions to consider. Let’s do some math. From the article, we know that last year 29,798 dogs were sold at a loss of eight cents each. That’s just under $2,400. The ORLH website tells us that space exists for over 6,200 students on campus. Let’s assume just 6,000 people have meal plans, including flex points (the NDFS website says mote than 99 percent do, which is more than 6100 people). Thus, by reducing each person’s flex points by 40 cents, the quarter dog losses are recouped. Note that this year, every student with flex points has $345 in points, whereas last year we had $325. Further, the article mentions that “no other major price changes have been made to Huddle Mart products this year.” No other food vendor has increased prices either, as far as I am aware. So we have $20 more to spend, but nothing specific to spend it on. I never use all my flex points anyway, so for me and many others it’s wasted. Why can’t Notre Dame boost housing fees by $1 to subsidize quarter dogs and regain last year’s losses? If the extra flex points are removed, then the net effect is lower housing fees. If that’s too complex, then leave flex points as they are and add the dollar anyway. I guarantee no one would notice. Besides, $2,400 is really not that much money, considering Notre Dame’s huge endowment and all the money spent on new fences and pep rallies that few students like. It would not be too difficult to save this tradition, and if NDFS will not do so, then I have just one thing to say: “Help us, generous alumni. You’re our only hope!”


Adam Alongi


Aug. 31