A while ago, I asked this question. As pointed out in the comments or edit revisions, I initially geared the question slightly more towards undergraduates. However, as pointed out by commentors, the issue is still relevant to graduate students, and the question was edited to ensure that the focus was more general.

Given this, why exactly was my question off-topic? Is this a result of me poorly scoping it initially, or are, instead, questions on student life not completely related to research or academics subject to more scrutiny?

I'm not sure if I want to argue that my question was actually on topic, but the reason cited in the close vote is confusing, and if the latter reason for which I think the question might have been closed is true, I'd like to know that for future reference.

1 Answer 1


As one of the people who voted to close, let me give you my answer: in the beginning, it seemed very much an undergraduate-focused question---your examples were about undergrads, and I had never heard of graduate students having a required meal plan before (though of course academia varies greatly).

Then I stopped paying attention and didn't notice the edits that removed the undergraduate nature.

Looking at it again... I guess that it could be reopened, but it still seems a fairly borderline question for me. The reason is that I'm not sure what sort of answer will actually satisfy the question (how do we measure "primarily"? Especially given that StrongBad's answer about the UK apparently wasn't what you were looking for), and from the answers given so far, it seems like it may devolve into a "big list" kind of question with a whole bunch of people chiming in to say "Some schools in Country X do it this way!" Finally, even though it apparently does apply to some graduate students, it's still something that is very largely an undergraduate experience.

All told, none of these are strong enough to be a "definite close" to me, but they are a bunch of different weaknesses that wouldn't encourage me to re-open. Given what I see as the borderline nature of the question, I wouldn't oppose others reopening it, but would not be particularly motivated to do so myself.

  • 2
    While I agree with your analysis, I am not sure we should "punish" the question just because people are giving poll like answers. I am not particularly happy with my answer as it only provides one data point, but I felt a single counter example was valuable. The other answers by saying where there are not meal plans, seem to add little value.
    – StrongBad
    May 7, 2015 at 13:30
  • @StrongBad I agree --- poll-like answers isn't a big problem, but it's a small problem. Put together with other small problems, it makes it a messy question that I have a hard time seeing how to clearly improve.
    – jakebeal
    May 7, 2015 at 13:58

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