Residential Services: off-campus dining option not priority

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    Even though the idea has been on the back burner for more than a year, students will have to wait longer for Residential Services to make a decision about using TCU ID cards as a form of payment at off-campus restaurants, said the director of Residential Services. Craig Allen, director of Residential Services, has been at TCU for a year and said he knows that while the issue of off-campus dining has been discussed before, staff members agree that it is not an issue to be addressed immediately.

    “The technology takes time and money and people’s energy,” Allen said. “The ID center staff is working on many other things, and this is not something that they have been able to focus on at this time.”

    The closest TCU will come to off-campus dining options will be those in the GrandMarc at Westberry Place apartment complex, said Johanna Janovsky, business manager for the GrandMarc.

    “The vendors have been encouraged to accept the TCU ID cards, but it is up to them whether or not it follows through,” Janovsky said.

    Perrotti’s Pizza is opening a restaurant in the GrandMarc, and other vendors considering spaces include Starbucks and Citibank. A hair and nail salon, an ice cream store and other casual dining areas such as a sports bar, are also possibilities, Janovsky said.

    Some schools have already caught on to the off-campus dining craze. Students at Southern Methodist University can use their Pony Express Cards at businesses such as Smoothie King, la Madeleine and CVS/pharmacy, according to the SMU Web site.

    Because a register tracking system would be needed to charge TCU accounts at the restaurants, it would require an investment from the vendor, said Rick Flores, general manager for TCU Dining Services.

    “Why would a student limit themselves to a certain number of restaurants accepting TCU ID cards when they have unlimited access to all restaurants with a Visa or MasterCard?” Flores said.

    If an off-campus dining option was added, it would not change the prices of TCU’s current dining plans, Flores said.

    “The off-campus portion would basically be a separate debit account for students to eat off campus,” Flores said.

    Emily Grosshans, a sophomore music education major, said she agrees that students may not need an off-campus dining option.

    “I have a debit account and my parents would not want to pay for another account just for dining off-campus through TCU,” Grosshans said.

    Sarah Tomlinson, a sophomore movement science major, said she thinks her parents would invest in a separate dining account.