Bill passes allowing students to share meal plan money

Rosemond Crown

Beginning April 1, students will be able to transfer and receive meal plan money from other students as part of a new piece of legislation passed by the Student Government Association.

The bill, named “The Circle of Life,” was authored by Sen. Greg Reck. It will allow students to make two transfers of meal plan, with a maximum of $100 each, and totaling no more than $200 per semester. Recipients, however, can only receive one transfer per semester.

Reck was inspired to write the bill after noticing the unequal distribution of meal plan wealth, as freshmen living on campus are required to have a minimum of $1,765 per semester. Commuters and those living in on-campus apartments only need to purchase $115 per semester.

“A lot of students at St. Edward’s have a lot of leftover meal plan money at the end of the year and we thought we could find another way to use that meal plan money,” Reck said. “So I thought, why not create a system whereby students can transfer money from one account to another?”

In order to make transfers, both recipient and donor must go the Hilltopper card office and present a valid St. Edward’s student ID. Recipients must wait three business days for the funds to be processed.

Transfers can only be done after Nov. 1 in the fall semester and after April 1 in the spring semester. Any funds transferred will expire on June 30.

Senior Catherine Brandt welcomes the idea, calling it progress, but isn’t sure how many students will use the new system. 

“I don’t really know if I see people using it, because it’s just so easy to be like ‘oh yeah, here’s my card, go,'” she said. 

Transferring Topper Tender is not included in the bill.

In addition, resident assistants or NCAA athletes cannot participate in the program since their meal plan is provided using university funds. Students also cannot transfer funds to or receive funds from employees.

The limitations on the amount of transfers is a way of securing the interest of parents who provide money for their student’s meal plan.

“We discussed a number of stakeholders and at the top of the list was parents,” Reck said. “There’s going to be some parents who are concerned about where their student’s meal plan money is going.”

The April 1 start date for the program will be a tryout period. During this period, the university will track how much students use the program. If enough students do not use the program, the university will stop it.

“I highly encourage students to participate in this program,” Reck said. “I’ve been at the end of the semester studying for finals and I just need to get a meal in my stomach and I don”t have any meal plan money on me. If someone could put $50 in my account then that could be a huge help.”