UWO needs off campus Titan dollar usage

Gwen Nichols, Opinion Writer

Polito’s, Niko’s, Jimmy John’s. What do all of these places have in common? Well, they are right next to campus, taste amazing when you’ve had a night out, and finally, they all contribute to the infinite hole that all UWO students’ money tends to go down.

Wouldn’t it be much more convenient if we could spend our Titan Dollars at these food joints instead of depleting the hard-to-come-by, real dollars that we, as broke college students, can’t afford to blow on sandwiches and bacon cheeseburgers?

Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard the whole “just don’t spend your money” spiel, but from experience I know it isn’t that simple. When a fresh slice of mac-and-cheese pizza calls your name, you don’t ignore it.

Savannah Charles, a friend of mine who attends Marquette University in Milwaukee, said students who attend Marquette are able to use what they call “Marquette Cash” at partnering, outside dining establishments.

“Being able to use Marquette Cash at places off campus is definitely an asset to both Marquette students and the surrounding community,” Charles said. “Every college student gets tired of dining hall food at times and just needs a break.”

As amazing as the chicken patties at Blackhawk are, I know I would definitely make use of using my Titan Dollars off campus.

“It also definitely helps the surrounding businesses, as college students are less likely to be frequently spending their own money,” Charles said.

It kind of seems like it is a win-win for both students and the nearby businesses. Why wouldn’t UWO want to adopt this practice?
Most people I have talked to in passing about this proposition have said, “Well, it’s because Marquette is a private institution.” However, I know some public universities within the UW System also have their own method of off-campus dining for students.

UW-Stevens Point has its version of Titan Dollars called “Point Cash” and students have a variety of places it can be used, such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Cousins Subs, Subway and even Perkins.

UWO freshman Taylor Russell said using Titan Dollars off campus would be beneficial in many aspects.

“I think that we should be allowed some sort of off-campus use for Titan Dollars,” Russell said. “It would bring more business to neighboring restaurants, and it would also bring in more money to the school because people would be more apt to reload Titan Dollars.”

Russell also brought up a good point about some added benefits of this proposal.

“Blackhawk and Scotty’s aren’t always open, so if I have something that runs later in the night, I will most likely have to find something in my room or resort to eating off campus,” Russell said. “And I would save so much money if I could use Titan Dollars in place of real money.”

I know there is Blackhawk To-Go, but they have very limited options that can’t always be the Hail Mary of dinnertime.

All in all, I’m not saying to replace every meal at Reeve or Blackhawk with Big Apple Bagels or Polito’s, but for those days you really don’t want to catch the norovirus or simply just can’t handle the mass-produced food of on-campus dining halls, having a couple outside options would really come in handy. Then maybe students wouldn’t have to get their Jimmy John’s fix from just the workers handing out free samples.