David Eberhardt

All About Rowdy Cash

Incorporating a New Form of Payment into the BSC Community

Why was Rowdy Cash started?

Dr. David Eberhardt, VP of Student Development, explains, “There’s been a concern for a while that the college, by allowing a student to swipe their card to buy a t-shirt, was being a credit card company. The transaction process gets to the bookstore; the bookstore then sends it over to student accounts; [then], it gets put on your student account," Eberhardt says. "There was this really delayed process of when you’re getting something and when you’re purchasing it.”

How does Rowdy Cash work?

“Panther bucks are a declining balance that you have already paid for, and the college has paid to Aramark, so it really isn’t your money anymore. It’s just a balance that the college is essentially holding in your name,” Eberhardt clarifies. “The difference, now, is that it goes immediately to a student account of yours: your Rowdy cash account.”

Before Rowdy Cash, organizations mainly charged purchases to student accounts. Now, organizations are incorporating Square to use credit cards and are adding Venmo as a form of payment. Although student organizations will benefit in the long run, student organization leaders like Pi Beta Phi chapter president Samantha Grindell recognizes that there will be some growing pains before those benefits are reached.

“The challenge with Rowdy Cash is that people just don't have it. We can't make money off of the items we're selling if people don't have money to pay for them," Grindell says. "Rowdy Cash would work extremely well if people had it, but a lot of people aren't willing to put $100 into an account [if] they don't know they will use [it].”

The lack of students using Rowdy Cash is affecting the fundraiser and merchandise sales of practically all student organizations, including Relay for Life, the Harrison Honors Program, and the Art Students League. Dala Eloubeidi, President of Alpha Epsilon Delta, has seen Rowdy Cash affect what used to be her organization's staple fundraiser.

“AED usually raises close to $200 for our lemonade stand, but, this semester, we raised $25,” Eloubeidi says. “AED has decided to cancel the on-campus bake sale for Spirit of Luke. Instead, we have decided to raise money by hosting a percentage night at a local restaurant.”

What else should you know?

You can easily go onto the BSC website and use your credit card or debit card to add $50 or $100 to your Rowdy Cash account. Rowdy Cash rolls over until you graduate BSC, at which time it is refundable.

“People are just resistant to change, and the fact that the system wasn't easy to understand at first made it harder," Grindell says. "Once it becomes the norm, people won't even think about Rowdy Cash anymore because it'll be so ingrained in their BSC lives."

Feature photo via Micayla Edler.

Could We See a New Caf Next Year?

Where the administration is with its foodservice contract selection process.

Many students have heard that the school’s administration is in the process of reviewing our contract with Aramark and exploring new options for our campus. This is exciting news for everyone, seeing as it is no secret that our campus foodservices are almost universally disliked. Any student here has heard countless complaints about the Caf’s lack of quality and options or gripes about having to eat Subway all the time.

Dr. David Eberhardt, Vice President for Student Development, explains that the process begins with a team of administrators who discuss criteria for what food services should be on campus. A proposal is developed and sent to different companies, who craft their own proposals, which they then send back to the school. The administrative taskforce will select a few standout options to pursue further. When they reach a decision, they formulate a recommendation that will be adopted by the college’s senior leadership. After that, the minutia and fine print of the contract is negotiated. When all is said and done, the new contract is implemented on campus.

Our contract taskforce has started meeting to discuss criteria for what food services at BSC should be. Dr. Eberhardt hopes that they will be on pace to arrive at a decision this spring, which could allow for implementation over the summer. While overall goals are clear, many details are still up for discussion.

“Maybe we’ll decide the Caf won’t be open the whole time," Dr. Eberhardt says. "That saves dollars that could be invested in other ways.” These possibilities are exciting, but Dr. Eberhardt was sure to stress that no decisions have been made and that criteria should stay liberal.

“The more general we put those criteria, the more freedom it gives the companies to have some creativity and variety in what they come back with in their proposals,” Dr. Eberhardt says. Such flexibility could mean dining options we have never seen before, which may include different food service locations, such as the library or academic quad.

Details are sparse, but the possibilities are mouth watering. Within the next couple of years, we could see a whole new approach to dining on our campus.

Feature pic via Creative Commons.