By Ian Frantz
An application that helps students keep track of all funds related to their meal plan at Youngstown State University was introduced in the fall 2017 semester.
GET was created by The CBORD Group, which is a company that focuses on housing, access and card services for senior living, higher education and business campuses.
Michael Cardwell, assistant director of retail management at YSU, said he spent the summer trying to get the system up and running in time for fall.
“I worked with Youngstown State University’s IT department and coordinated with CBORD’s IT and made sure that it could recognize the student IDs,” Cardwell said.
The purpose of the GET app is to allow students to check their balance on Pete’s Points and Flex Dollars and add more funds.
According to Cardwell, YSU had access to GET for some time but hasn’t had time to set it up until recently.
“We just took a while getting to it, we have the Odyssey System to help track block meals used in the meal plan and use Micros to run the registers, so we wanted to make sure everything was going to work,” Cardwell said.
Sarah Rodgers, sophomore education major, said she was on the meal plan before moving out of the dorms and before the app was released at YSU.
“I had real trouble checking my balance and actually ran out of funds a couple times so something like this would have really helped me out,” Rodgers said.
Cardwell said checking a balance before the app was a hassle for both the customer and the employee at the register.
“When you buy something with either Pete’s Points or Flex Dollars, you could see the balance at the bottom of the receipt, but this would only show the balance of the currency used and it would only work if you bought something,” Cardwell said.
Ian Tanner, associate director of housing and residence life, said he is incorporating information from the app into future training sessions for staff.
“We dedicated a small section to the app in our August RA training back in the fall and we are planning on doing the same thing in our next orientation for students next semester,” Tanner said.
He said the app could provide an opportunity for students living by themselves for the first time to learn valuable lessons for later in life.
“In a weird way it’s teaching students how to balance a checkbook and can help students learn a practical skill that will be helpful in the real world,” Tanner said.
Cardwell said his office hopes for the app to grow and provide more services in the future.
“The app is able to show you the location of all places that accept Pete’s Point or Flex Dollars and uses GPS to show you how to get there,” Cardwell said.
Tanner said he thinks the app is having a positive reaction with students already.
“The students who use it like it a lot and are willing to let us know when something doesn’t work. It shows the students that we’re listening and want to give them a better experience,” he said.