On-Campus Vendors Should Accept Meal Plan and Flex Money

By Zack J. Speiker, Madelynn G. Newman, Brennen J. Maguire, EWU Students

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Dear Editor,

We believe all external business vendors operating on Eastern Washington University campus should accept both student meal plan and Flex money. Students living on campus have limited options when it comes spending their meal plan and Flex money and deserve to have more options available, considering the money they’re spending to attend school and build the new PUB. For example, Thomas Hammer doesn’t accept either option, even though they previously have in 2003. A representative disclosed that the cost of accepting Flex money, the slow transfer of funds and the large amount of paperwork required made it too complex to continue with the program.

Freshmen are now required to live on campus, meaning that more students have Flex money and meal plan options. For the tuition and attendance costs, students shouldn’t have to use their own, out-of-pocket cash to purchase from on-campus vendors. The problem lies in the technology for the transfer of the funds and the decisions made by the Eastern administration to prevent non-Eastern businesses from coming to campus.

An employee of Thomas Hammer stated that they would be “totally open” to bringing back Flex but have had no contact from Eastern to see if there may be new interest in participating in the program. This leads us to believe that Eastern hasn’t sought to work with on-campus vendors to ensure that they universally accept Flex and meal plan money. It’s imperative that all vendors participate in order to allow students more variety. The issue could be as simple as setting up the necessary technology for the transfer of funds and striking deals with businesses on campus. Eastern needs to seek to solve this problem as it would benefit all students and the campus.

Sincerely,

Concerned Students

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