By Alyssa Gautieri
From 7-Eleven and Starbucks to Domino’s and Chili’s, there is a long list of places where Rutgers University-New Brunswick students can use their RU Express points. Students at Rowan University can use their Rowan Bucks at Pep Boys to get their car serviced, at CVS to pick up a prescription or at Dunkin’ Donuts to grab their daily coffee.
At other New Jersey state schools, off-campus restaurants and businesses often accept campus credit. Come to the College, and not only will you be overpaying for a meal at Piccolo Pronto or Panera Bread, but you’re going to be paying with cash.
Even the Ewing Diner, a popular spot among students at the College, is quite expensive for a college student’s budget. After visiting my friends at other state colleges, I began to grow angry with the lack of affordable, local dining options in Ewing. I also began to question why the College is failing to offer an equivalent to RU Express points or Rowan Bucks.
It seems that Get It Points — which is basically just cash or credit loaded onto our school IDs — have the potential to function in the same way as RU Express points or Rowan Bucks, but no one at the College has put in the time or effort to implement this type of relationship with off-campus merchants.
As a senior, I am among a dwindling group of students that experienced life at the College before Campus Town. Campus Town has been a great addition to the College and it has definitely elevated the appeal of our campus. With that being said, I’m still disappointed with the progression of Campus Town, because I had hoped its addition would bring along more change.
When I had initially heard the concept for Campus Town, I thought it would function similarly to the ways in which off-campus dining options at many other public schools in New Jersey function. Visit Rutgers or Rowan and you’ll be greeted with a range of affordable, off-campus dining options that accept campus credit.
Barnes & Noble accepts Get It points, but the other dining options in Campus Town fail to accept meal plan points or Get It points, which I find to be a very unattractive feature of the College.
Get It points could, and should, be so much more. The College should figure out a way to utilize a system like this to keep up with other colleges in New Jersey. Of course, the College has a range of other benefits — small class sizes, great academics and high graduation rates — that many of these schools may not offer, but it can always do more.
The school should implement a system in which parents or students could have the option to load cash or credit onto a school ID. This would allow students to use their IDs to grocery shop, go out to lunch or pick up their medications.
As a broke college student, I have come to the realization that I simply can not appreciate Campus Town and other off campus retailers in Ewing as much as I wish I could. Allowing students to use Get It points at off-campus locations would encourage students to visit these places and spend more money. I truly do not understand why the College’s administration or off-campus merchants have not tried to pursue what seems like a mutually beneficial relationship.