The Daily Gamecock

Off-campus Carolina Cash beneficial all around

Plan will help students save, university make money

The plan to expand the use of Carolina Cash to off-campus businesses is one that students have been anxiously awaiting for years now. A plan has been set in motion to allow Carolina Cash sales at local businesses such as Bi-Lo, CVS, Domino’s, Harper’s, Marble Slab Creamery, Palmetto Pig, Papa John’s, Salsarita’s and Tripp’s Fine Cleaners. This plan is set to begin in early November and allows for increased options for students. Naturally, many concerns have been expressed about the effect of this on on-campus business, but the possibilities of increased revenue for the university as well as local businesses makes this proposal worth testing.

The university will charge a 4- to 12-percent commission and a 30-cent swipe charge per transaction for anywhere the Carolina Card is used to make purchases. This is considered steep by many; however, it is a tactic used by other universities successfully. The university will bring in a great profit from this system which will match, if not exceed, the profit made off their on-campus options. The local businesses will benefit by receiving increased student traffic because students will be more willing to bring in business through Carolina Cash than other money.

The fear that this system could negatively affect on-campus dining is not without reason. The regular hours will be unaffected due to meal plan. The concern is that after-hours dining will see a decrease in business. The reason this will not be the case is because the main clientele late at night is on-campus students who would continue to service these businesses due to convenience. The convenience factor in this proposal is more of an advantage for off-campus students in general that already frequent off-campus businesses.

The population of students that live on campus will continue to go to places such as Horseshoe Deli because it is the most accessible option for them. However, for the even greater number of students who have moved off-campus, these businesses are no longer nearby and they are already more likely to take their business elsewhere, so why not allow the university to still benefit off of these off-campus purchases?

This pertains to our campus especially in recent years since dorm renovations have forced more people to live off campus. The off-campus options continue to expand with new locations, such as The Hub opening in the next year, therefore the students who will live at these places and the businesses around them could benefit from an extension of Carolina Card usage.

This system would be mutually beneficial to the students, the university as a whole and the participating local businesses. The main priority of the university is to make the students and parents happy, and this plan has been a desired option by both parties for years now. So even with a few possible downsides, the overall advantages are too great to resist.