Some changes to OneCard use

The Laurier OneCard can serve as anything from a bus pass to a meal voucher for students at Wilfrid Laurier University.

In recent months, changes to the OneCard system have been suggested and in some cases brought into effect, leaving some confusion as to what students can expect the card to do for them.

The Cord examines the rumoured modifications to a system that all students have encountered and some use on a daily basis.

OneCard still accepted at the bookstore

After the bookstore announced in late April that payment by OneCard would no longer be allowed, there had been speculation that the outlet would no longer accept the card due to a loss of profits.

After meetings and a reworking of the OneCard agreement, the bookstore has agreed to continue to accept the OneCard in the upcoming fall and winter terms. While the arrangement will continue for this year, uncertainty remains as to whether students will have this option in years to come.

“We are going to use this year as a trial,” stated Dan Dawson, director of student services.

More choices

Food outlets on campus, including Tim Horton’s in the science and business buildings, will be upgraded for September and there may be more choices available to students in the area surrounding the university as well.

The OneCard office has begun a process to update and possibly expand the vendors off-campus that allow students to pay for purchases with their cards by issuing a public call for proposals.

Dawson speculated that this could draw businesses nearby campus to adopt the system. “[It] really opens up a fair opportunity for businesses to bid,” he said.

Summer pause to the OneCard reward system

Originally conceived by the former OneCard and bookstore managers, the OneCard reward system has allowed students to accumulate points based on OneCard purchases with money on their ‘convenience’ account. The original intention was to promote purchasing loyalty at businesses on campus.

“The program has now become problematic,” Dawson explained, as students have stocked all of their rewards points to be used at the end of university. Typical purchases with these points are electronics and expensive items at the Laurier Bookstore which have a very low profit margin.

The rewards system has been paused for the summer. A consultation with MBA students last term resulted in a proposal to replace the program for incoming students with an instant rewards system for depositing money on the OneCard.

This would no longer allow students to accumulate massive amounts of points, and would provide incentives for students to pay via OneCard as opposed to debit and credit cards.

Current students will most likely retain the old rewards system and still be able to redeem their collected points.

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