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Feb. 28, 2013

Viking card offers more access

By Alberto Paneccasio

Several university committees are looking into the possibility of allowing students to use their Viking Card at businesses, especially restaurants, off campus. The proposal was moved with the Viking Card Services about five years ago by the Student Government Association.

Viking Card at CSUThe university is studying whether the expansion in the Viking Card program is financially feasible. Interim Provost George Walker supports exploring the proposal, according to SGA.

SGA representatives will be meeting with the vice resident of finance, Stephanie McHenry, late next week.

There are several issues that need to be sorted out. Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services that operates food services on campus currently has the contract for the dining services.

“My group does plan to meet with SGA to discuss the matter, but it’s too early to report anything further,” McHenry said.

There will have to be significant research into whether the proposal and/or project would not cost students money in dealing with percentage rates that Cleveland State will ask in sales while using their cards. This could affect how much students could spend. However, SGA is putting an emphasis that students won’t lose money in this deal.

“We would not support the project if it would result in any additional costs being passed onto students,” SGA Secretary Kaitlin Vandemark said.

Local businesses such as Subway, Café Ah Roma, soon to be restaurants at the Langston and many other places around campus would probably benefit from this proposal. It can bring more people to local establishments off campus.

“We are more than happy to be one of those local businesses that is tied into the proposal. However, being a small business restaurant, it would help us if the financial restraints would be taken off or lowered so we won’t have to raise our prices for that percentage taken out,” said Bob Oakes, Café Ah Roma owner.

Once this proposal is discussed in the meeting said above with vice president of Finance, then it will move forward in the approval process, if there is one.