“Flex Dollars” system functioning; updates

Jennifer Baron, Staff Writer

The Flex Dollars program has been at Wilkes University since late in the fall semester of 2006. Even though it has been around now for eight years, people are still unsure of how Flex Dollars actually function. In fact, many students were unaware of the fact that the Flex Dollars were not working properly at the start of the school year, and they are still not fully functional.

 

Dr. Mark Allen, Dean of Student Affairs, has the explanation for this. In May of 2014, the old Flex Dollars provider, which was a part of the Sodexo Corporation, ceased to do business with Wilkes. Wilkes immediately found another, independent company to take over Flex Dollars. However, the new provider had to re-negotiate with all of the local businesses to have them sign on with the new Flex Dollars policy. This was all supposed to be taken care of before the commencement of fall classes, but there was a software compatibility issue with the computers. The system the new company has for calculating and charging using the Flex Dollars was incompatible with the system at Wilkes. Because of this, Wilkes had to do a software overhaul and update the system.

 

All has been squared away with technology and students are slowly being able to use their Flex Dollars again. Flex Dollars can currently be used at Barnes and Noble, Subway (downtown Wilkes-Barre), and Asian Kitchen. Franks’s Pizzeria, Maer’s BBQ, Rodano’s, and Bart & Urby’s will soon be added. Check your e-mail for confirmation.

 

There are some other general questions students have regarding Flex Dollars and how they work, first and foremost being, “What is the difference between Flex Dollars and Dining Dollars. The main difference is the Flex Dollars are for off-campus dining and Dining Dollars are for on-campus dining (Rifkin Café, Colonel Gambini’s and Stark Cart). Both types are for student convenience and allow students to have more freedom with their food choices.

 

Students can add to money to both their Flex Dollars and Dining Dollars accounts through the online portal. Any Dining Service cashier will be able to tell you what your current balance is, or you can call the office of Campus Support Services at (570)-408-2349. As for unused Flex and Dining Dollars, they will carry over from the fall semester to the spring semester, but they are not carried over to the next academic year.

 

A major point that Allen stresses has to do with the food service program at Wilkes in general. He wants to make sure that all students are aware that, this year, there will be an overhaul on dining services. The current system is being examined and the input of students is welcome. There is a committee of students that are discussing the hours of operation, the food service locations, the quality of the food served, and the types of food being served in an attempt to better the system. Based on the student inputs, future direction will be determined and action taken. Your opinions are always welcome if there is something you would like to see changed or made better for the benefit of Wilkes University students and staff.