College makes meal plan balances available online

ASG aims to stop receipt usage

Christina Bryson, Editor-in-Chief

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Allegheny students, staff and faculty can now check their Gator Cash balances online and deposit money immediately to their accounts through GET Funds. With this service, Allegheny members can also view meal plan balances including—Munch Money and board meals—check their transaction history, flag lost or stolen cards and view local businesses accepting Gator Cash.

“It was kind of a no-brainer,” Jodi Millin, director of Student Finance & Technology, said about paying for the upgrade. “It improves process, and it’s a better service to the students.”

The college obtained GET Funds with its scheduled CBORD upgrade, the company the college uses for its food services management software.

“Of course everything comes at a cost, but this one was simple, minimal cost and what we thought was a great benefit for the students going forward,” said Kathy Conaway, purchasing coordinator. “So far it doesn’t seem that there’s a downside.”

It was kind of a no-brainer.”

— Jodi Millin

Financial services has been working to prepare GET Funds since the summer. Originally the office hoped to have it up and running before school began but the service was not available for use until Oct. 8.

“Our office just got a little hectic and took us a little longer to get it up and running than we originally anticipated. But it’s out there now, and we’ve had a handful of people using it,” said Conaway.

Prior to using GET Funds, the college relied on an intermediate person to approve Gator Cash deposits, making it a longer process and a longer wait to receive funds.

“It was kind of a bummer for students if they needed money on their Gator Cash over the weekend and we’re not here to physically put it on. Now, it’s 24/7,” said Millin.

GET Funds accepts VISA, MasterCard and Discover. The minimum deposit is $10 and the maximum is $1,000. The college pays a 2 to 3 percent processing fee for every transaction and now also pays a 25 cent transaction fee.

“Probably the biggest cost to the college would be the fee because we get charged every time a student puts money on. We pay a service charge so the student doesn’t have to,” said Millin. “It will be a little more expensive to the college but I think the service to the students is always that.”

Financial services will also be cutting back on paper waste with the addition of GET Funds, printing fewer receipts. According to Millin, the office has had previous requests to improve sustainability.

With GET Funds’ online capacity, the conversation around eliminating McKinley’s Food Court receipts becomes more feasible according to Levi Lundell, ’17, Allegheny Student Government director of sustainability.

“It’s always been top of our radar,” said Lundell on talks of eliminating McKinley’s receipts.

In previous years, students have organized demonstrations showing the amount of waste receipts create by placing collection boxes at the checkout registers for students to dispose of their unwanted receipts. Lundell said they went so far as to make a mural out of the collected receipts.

Right now, ASG is looking to assess student interest on the topic.

“Being student government we’re trying to follow what’s in the best interest of the student population,” said Lundell. “If everyone wants it, it’s something we can do. If it’s not then it’s something we can have more conversations about why we think that’d be beneficial.”

Lundell remains hopeful that printed receipts can be eliminated.

“I think no one disagrees with the fact that the GET Funds is fantastic anyway, whether or not we keep doing receipts,” said Lundell. “It’s just a question of can we eliminate receipts all together. To me it sounds foolproof.”

GET Funds is fully available both online and on the app store for both Android and iOS. Search “Cbord GET” to download the free app.

Visit http://sites.allegheny.edu/finserv/gator-cash/get-funds/ for more information on GET Funds.

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