By McCartney Walsh
Over 800 students, faculty and staff members at Youngstown State University use Pete’s Points, one of the three meal plans offered at the university.
According to the Associate Director of Operations and Events for Kilcawley Center, R.J. Markowitz, Pete’s Points is the most useful of the three.
“There are meal swipes that folks can use just at the dining hall for entry to the dining hall. There are Flex Points, which are a dollar-for-dollar value, but those can only be used at select locations on campus. Pete’s Points are another dollar-for-dollar tender but those can be used a little bit more freely,” Markowitz said.
Users can purchase Pete’s Points on the Penguin Portal to be directly loaded onto the user’s YSU ID or YCard. Points can be used throughout the fall and spring semesters but expire at the end of the academic year.
Unlike other meal plans used by on-campus residents, Pete’s Points is available to commuters and the currency is accepted by more on-campus restaurants and snack shops, which may benefit those with dietary restrictions.
Pete’s Points can also be used at the Giant Eagle at Churchill Commons in Liberty. According to YSU’s website, groceries can be purchased in person or online where they can be delivered to the Cove in Kilcawley Center.
YSU’s website lists all locations that accept Pete’s Points. Markowitz said the list will soon include the new Just Baked machine in Kilcawley Center, which is available 24 hours a day.
“There is a new Just Baked food vending machine, so it’ll make [a] pizza for you, it’ll make ramen for you just in a little vending machine,” Markowitz said.
Markowitz said having a fixed amount of points on a students’ Y Card per week may help them learn budgeting skills and prevent overspending.
“Another great thing about Pete’s Points is that it allows you to budget,” Markowitz said. “We have a lot of students and staff alike that will essentially every week put $50 worth of points on their card so they know that they’re not going to go over $50 for their lunches for the week.”
Senior computer science major Declan Sekol used Pete’s Points his first year living on campus. Sekol said Pete’s Points helped him keep track of the money he spent.
“It definitely helped me budget because I only bought food from places that took Pete’s Points,” Sekol said. “I usually spend between $25 to $50 on on-campus food.”
Michael Gordon, a sophomore education major, began using Pete’s Points because of his frequency on campus his freshman year. Gordon said he stuck with points because of how much money it saved him.
“I thought I should use Pete’s Points and pay in advance instead of using my own current money,” Gordon said. “Pete’s Points has definitely helped me budget. I started off with the 450 Pete’s Points package and still have plenty left … I have probably saved over $200.”
Markowitz said Pete’s Points can also be loaded onto students’ accounts by friends, family members or whoever wants to give a gift.
“The nice thing too is there’s also a guest login that you could set up so if mom, dad, grandma, grandpa [or] whoever is helping you with expenses on campus, they’re able to just log on, use that guest account and charge up somebody’s Pete’s Points as a gift or something like that,” Markowitz said.
For more information on YSU’s meal plans, head to its website.