By Michael Margavitch, Columnist
You are in Bits ‘N Bytes, and all you want to do is sit down and eat your chicken sandwich, because your stomach started growling hours ago. You get to the checkout and present your HofstraCard to the cashier, but there are insufficient funds on your card. What are you supposed to do? You have no cash on you and most of your friends are in class, so you cannot borrow their card to pay for your meal and promise to pay them back later. You are now thoroughly embarrassed because a line is now forming behind you, and the food that you are not able to pay for at the moment cannot be unmade.
In past days of Hofstra dining, this would be a big problem. Do not fret, there is now another method that you can use for your on-campus sustenance. Just whip out your credit card. Soon enough the students will not have to worry about budgeting meal plans or obtaining cash. A swipe of their credit card will be just as good as swiping the HofstraCard.
Many people would agree that this is a good decision by the University. The commuters who seldom eat on campus would be able to pay for the food they purchase as needed. This is better than having to pay a hefty, predetermined amount of money for the food on their meal plan because more times than not, they will eat at home.
Nevertheless, if commuters want a snack, now they will not have to lock their money up in a meal card or pull out cash whenever their stomach is empty.
Others who will benefit are those students who blow through meal points quickly. I will admit that it is hard to budget a meal plan. I only get two meals a day to save points. For those who want the perfectly balanced and recommended three meals a day, it is especially hard to keep the spending under control. Sometimes, students go over. If they get caught with insufficient points to pay for a meal with a line behind them, wouldn't it be easier for them to pull out their credit card rather than causing delays with cash or getting someone else to pay for them?
Another group that will be relieved to hear this is those with financial aid problems. Last year, there was a group of students in such a situation and the University cut their meal plans. How can they expect students not to eat? This period probably caused much stress as the students needed to come up with ways to eat in the midst of an already stressful semester. It also hurt their pride as they had to ask others for use of their meal cards. I'm sure that they would have appreciated this option of credit card use at campus eateries.
This option makes complete sense. As a result of the ability to use credit cards for on-campus dining, commuters will no longer have to have a specific amount of money tied up in a meal plan. People who have blown through their meal plan too quickly or have had their meal plan cut off can have another outlet to pay for food. When you are next in line and you need a little extra, don't fret! Pay credit.