Off-Campus Jasper Dollars Suspended Until End of September or Early October

Johanna Petruski buying food at the student commons. Photo by James O'Connor.
Johanna Petruski buying food at the student commons. Photo by James O’Connor.

The use of Jasper dollars at off-campus restaurants will be temporarily suspended during contract negotiations with a new digital card processing vendor. These changes come after the addition of new dining options in the Kelly Commons, the closure of Dante’s Den and a major change with the contract allowing MC students to purchase off-campus.

Kenneth Waldhof, director of business services, said that the vendor MC partnered with to organize off-campus Jasper dollar usage went out of business.

“So we have been scrambling over the summer with the card office, myself, and others [including] the IT department, we have identified another vendor,” he said. “They are in the process of recruiting former and new merchants locally to be a part of the program, and we have signed a contract with that vendor. As of today they have signed five of the former merchants,” Waldhof said.

According to Waldhof, these merchants include Dunkin Donuts, Jasper Deli, and Broadway Joe’s.

A Goodfella’s Pizza employee confirmed that the restaurant has signed a contract with the new company.

An employee from Jasper Deli also confirmed that students would soon be able to resume use of Jasper dollars, and a manager from Broadway Joe’s could not be reached for comment.

Currently the Jasper dollars included in a student meal plan can only be used on campus, but Waldhof expects the program to be up and running with the new vendor by late September or early October.

“Again, the delay is the fact that the technology involved with supporting the new company has to be reset and reestablished with the new company,” Waldhof said.

The new company, according to Waldhof, is DishOut, a New York based IT company.

Currently, DishOut does not specifically list Manhattan College as one of its clients on its website, but does mention that it serves over 125 college campuses.

Other changes have been made to the meal plans this year. There are still two options for student meal plans: The unlimited plan and the Overlook plan. With the Overlook plan, students receive 4 meal swipes in Locke’s, 640 dining dollars and 160 Jasper dollars. With the unlimited plan, students receive unlimited swipes in Locke’s, 50 dining dollars and 25 Jasper dollars.

The dining dollars are the new name for the “A La Carte Dollars” or ACDs that students formerly had.

New this year are incentive programs for purchasing additional dining dollars as well as Jasper dollars. When students purchase more than 100 dollars of additional dining dollars, they will receive an extra 10 percent of the dining dollars, which can only be spent at on campus dining options, come with another new incentive.

“When you use your dining dollars on any on campus location, you will receive a discount at the register of 10 percent,” Waldhof said. This discount will be provided by Gourmet Dining Services.

Some students have noted that despite the changes there are still very few options for meal plans on campus.

“I think I would have gotten the unlimited plan anyway, because I eat a good amount of food, but I think more options would be beneficial to the school,” Lucas Gilbride, MC sophomore, said.

Commuter students and faculty also have the option of purchasing dining dollars.

Waldhof also explained that they are expanding the meal plan usage. They are currently in the process of making Jasper dollars available for use at the bookstore. When students purchase additional Jasper dollars they will receive bonus “Bookstore Dollars” which will then only be available for use at the new bookstore.

For now students will continue to be offered the unlimited plan and the Overlook plan, with the option of purchasing more Jasper Dollars and dining dollars throughout the year.

The new vendor organizing the off campus dining options is working hard to recruit new members and resign the old businesses that MC students have become used to buying from.

As Waldhof mentioned, the Jasper dollars are intended to be useable by the end of September or the beginning of October.