It was easy to miss, but last Monday the administration released in an MC announcements email an updated list of eight merchants that accept Jasper dollars, or off-campus dining dollars that are a part of the campus meal plan.
The full list is comprised of Dunkin Donuts, Planet Wings, Jasper Deli, Goodfellas Pizza, New Riverdale Gourmet Deli, Generico’s Pizzeria & Café, Lee’s 2 Chinese Kitchen and Short Stop Restaurant.
Appearing on the list are a lot of the old favorites like Dunkin Donuts and Jasper Deli. As The Quadrangle previously reported, Broadway Joe’s Pizza no longer accepts Jasper dollars, however there were new additions to the list of participating restaurants including Planet Wings and a promise that Best Deli would be joining the Jasper dollars program soon.
After turning down several students hoping to use their Jasper dollars at the establishment, employee Joe Saleh said that they finally looked into trying to get Best Deli a card machine of their own. As of last Thursday, Best Deli is officially accepting Jasper dollars.
“It took about two or three months to get it,” said Saleh. “It’s helping our business.”
Best Deli reached out to the school in hopes of joining the program, which represents the most common way that the Business Office recruits merchants to accept Jasper dollars. However, merchants are also contacted as a result of student recommendations and input from the Office of Student Life, according to Business Director Kenneth Waldhof.
Another popular Broadway joint, Burrito Shop, did the same thing last year. The shop, which has enjoyed steady business from Manhattan College since opening last year, also responded to requests from students by contacting the school about Jasper Dollars, according to manager Jose Severino.
Since the owner of the shop was on vacation in Mexico last year, signing up for the program was put on hold but never really picked up again. Severino, however, expressed the shops’ continued interest in getting on the bandwagon after a slow summer for the shop without the business from campus.
“I definitely want to,” Severino said in reference to accepting Jasper dollars. “It would increase sales. If they don’t have cash they can use the Jasper dollars.”
Although the Business Office filters most of the requests from businesses, students and departments on campus, the majority of the transaction for merchants to be added to the program is handled by the third party business that the school contracts to handle the technology and logistics behind Jasper dollars.
In an email, Waldhof confirmed that a referral to contact the Burrito Shop about the Jasper dollars system was sent to the new provider.
The new provider, DishOut , was contracted by the school after the previous provider went out of business, leaving the administration scrambling for a new provider. DishOut provides the campus card payment systems for 125 colleges and universities, according to the company’s website.
It was this transition that led to students and staff not being able to use Jasper dollars until October 2.
With this year’s change in card administrator, also came a change in how Jasper dollars and dining dollars are distributed to students. While students received $50 of Jasper dollars per semester last year, they now receive $25, but in exchange they get more dining dollars which can be used at any on-campus store.
According to Waldhof, however, students will be given more flexibility in their Jasper dollar balances in the very near future.
“We’re finalizing a process where you or family members at home can log into your account and put money onto your card,” Waldhof said.
The online option, which has involved collaboration between the Bursar’s office, Information Technology Services and the Business Office, will streamline the existing process of adding money to your card which involves a visit to the ID office, to the bursar, and back again.
Waldhof anticipates the announcement for the online feature to be announced this week or in the very near future.