The students of Howard Payne University have been told that they have to wait until the first week of October to use their off-campus "Stinger Bucks."
Stinger Bucks are part of students' meal plans that they purchase through the university.
Students may use these "bucks" at various area restaurants to pay for their meals. Typically, students are able to start using their Stinger Bucks the first week of school however, this year there has been a setback in the use of the bucks.
According to Katie Rose Bonner, the Student Body President of Howard Payne there has been a delay in the acquiring of the machines that scan the students ID cards.
The school had been using a third party company for these machines however, that third party left Howard Payne this June.
The school has been trying to fix the problem since then.
Jake Sneath, a Resident Director and Student Government Association advisor at HPU offered a good perspective on the delay posing the question “Is it a better system?”
Could this new system be better? Better for the students and better for the restaurants that use the machines?
Bonner added another thought asking, “Would more restaurants sign on?” Making it much easier for the students to dine out in Brownwood.
Sneath said that one of the positive things he has heard about the delay is that some students believe that when the systems do start working, they will be able to make their Stinger Bucks last longer into the semester.
Many students use their Bucks within the first few weeks of school and since there is a delay, that was not possible.
There are many people who are frustrated that the system is not up and running, many parents are upset since they have paid for their student’s meal plan and they are not able to use it to its fullest until long after school has already started.
Financially Stinger Bucks do help students in many ways; they do not have to spend their own funds, many of which are limited, on eating out. There are times when the cafeteria is not open and students are hungry. Be that an athlete after practice or a student who has classes during the normal cafeteria operating hours. Having Stinger Bucks is a very useful option for them to use in order to have a meal.
Stinger Bucks also roll over from semester to semester, but not year to year.
Bonner pointed out that with the delay, it could negatively affect students who plan to study abroad for the spring semester.
If they are unable to use all their Stinger Bucks by the time school ends in December, they will lose that money.
This topic is a matter of great discussion amongst the students at HPU.
The fault does not lie with the restaurants or with the university.
There really is no one to blame, this is merely a business setback that affects the students in the process.
The problem is being fixed as quickly as possible to insure that students can use their meal plans’ to the fullest.