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University of Memphis ID to give students wider array of dining options

The University of Memphis’ Student Government Association has voted to enable the university’s student ID to be used at off-campus dining locations.

Memphis students can now use their Tiger Funds to pay for meals at local area restaurants. For now, the Daily Helmsman reports that the program will undergo a trial run with Garibaldi’s, Domino’s and Ubee’s – all restaurants located near the campus. More locations will be added as the program grows, however, and the Student Government Association claims there are already a number of local restaurants looking to sign up.

Ricky Kirby, president of the University of Memphis’ SGA, says the original focus was the immediate area surrounding campus, but is willing to expand the scope pending the success of the program.

Memphis students have three types of payment methods attached to their campus ID, the most common of which is Dining Dollars. Full-time students have $300 in their accounts at the beginning of each semester. Dining Dollars are for use on campus at University of Memphis dining locations only, with leftover funds rolling over into the next semester or personally refunded.

Alternatively, when students buy a meal plan, they receive Flex Bucks that can be used at other dining locations, not just at Memphis’ on-campus dining halls.

The third payment method, Tiger Funds, acts as a prepaid account that every student can put money into, as you would a debit card. Students can add money to their Tiger Funds account at the university’s Campus Card Online system, or with cash by visiting the Bursar’s Office or one of the Blackboard Card Management Centers on campus.

Tiger Funds, with its debit functionality, is the only student payment method that can be feasibly supported for use off campus.

The success of the Tiger Funds program will hinge upon the students’ willingness to participate. Provided students see value in using their campus credential to make food purchases off campus, the line for outside restaurants will likely wrap around the block.

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