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Editorial: Cafe Credits should be more openly accepted

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Editorial: Cafe Credits should be more openly accepted

Starbucks at the Courtyard Cafe in the Illini Union.

Starbucks at the Courtyard Cafe in the Illini Union.

Grace Kim | Daily Illini

Starbucks at the Courtyard Cafe in the Illini Union.

Grace Kim | Daily Illini

Grace Kim | Daily Illini

Starbucks at the Courtyard Cafe in the Illini Union.

By The Daily Illini Editorial Board

College students get hungry during class all the time. But for many students living in student residence halls, trekking all the way back to a University dining hall for meals between classes can be tedious — but necessary. Meals and Cafe Credits placed on students’ i-cards only work at the dining halls, which fall far from academic buildings.

Instead, it is much easier, and depending on scheduling, much more feasible, for students to get a coffee or a snack in Lincoln Hall, or buy lunch from any of the food places in the Illini Union. Most of these establishments, akin to the Illini Union Starbucks, are owned by the University.

For the overall convenience of students, it would be extremely beneficial for the University to open up these school-owned food and drink places to i-card meal plans and cafe credits, while still accepting cash and credit payments.

It would also be beneficial to including this potential new policy at University athletic facilities such as State Farm Center, Memorial Stadium and Huff Hall. If students attending those games could pay for a hot dog and soda with their i-cards, that’s a little less cash they have to carry around in their pockets and a little more in the University’s.

The practice is commonplace at other major American universities and would seem to be a logical partial replacement to the trek students must make out to the Ike or the PAR/FAR dining halls for meals.

For the ease of the University, this policy could even just be extended and applicable to Cafe Credits, but this is a policy that could create a far simpler dining situation for students and a closer, quicker dining spot could allow for extra cushions of time between classes for studying.

We deem it logical for the University to make this switch because it also has the potential to increase the enrollment in the i-Card meal plan for students who don’t live in the campus dining halls.

Plus, not many students could argue with the prospect of getting a $4 Starbucks coffee in the Illini Union without paying cash or withdrawing from a bank account.

While we don’t have a particular say in the quality of Starbucks’ coffee versus the quality of the Caffeinator’s coffee, convenience matters a lot to college students.

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