By Mikey Domagala
Dining Dollars are allocated to both commuter and resident students at the beginning of every school year. Dining Dollars allow students to purchase food, snacks, and beverages at on-campus locations via a set balance attached to their LIU ID card.
Having currency on your ID card is an efficient way of purchasing food on campus. Because students always have their student ID cards with them for building access and library usage, there is no need to worry about carrying cash or a credit card. It’s quick, easy, and when using dining dollars, there is no added sales tax on items. For campus residents, regardless of their meal plan, $300 worth of dining dollars are provided during both the fall and spring semesters, while commuters receive $50 worth of dining dollars each semester. The dollars are non-refundable and non-transferable and must be used before the end of each semester.
Jodi Darvick, a junior education major living on campus, said she hasn’t had a problem with the amount so far. Darvick, who has been on meal plan three, which provides 14 meals per week at the Winnick Student Center dining hall, since freshman year, said she uses her dining dollars for snacks, coffee, and other foods. “It’s a perfect amount for me, at least,” Darvick said. “If I’m not eating at Winnick, I sometimes spend my dining dollars at Subway or at the Hillwood Cafe, but usually I’m buying a lot of coffee.”
J.P. Formacheli, a sophomore criminal justice major from Levittown, New York, commutes to campus. According to Formacheli, the $50 balance he receives per semester is not enough. “Sure, I understand that students living on campus will receive more, but $50 per semester is too low of a [balance] for commuters,” he said. “Monday to Friday, I spend about $10-12 per day on food, snacks, and the occasional coffee or milkshake from the cafe. $100-$200 is a fair range,” he said.
According to Dean of Students Michael Berthel, in addition to the $50 in dining dollars for commuters, commuter meal plans are also available for students to opt into if they are not residing on campus. “We encourage commuter students to consider purchasing a block meal plan to make their campus life experience easier and more convenient,” Berthel said.
Dining dollars can be spent at every food and beverage venue on campus and at Hillwood Commons, yet cannot be spent in Hutton & Post. Interested in a coffee from Starbucks, a footlong sandwich from Subway or sushi, burgers, and pizza from the Hillwood Commons Cafe? Simply scan your ID card and help yourself to tax-free cuisine.
Students who would like more information regarding the commuter meal can contact the office of Campus Life at firstname.lastname@example.org. Students are also able to reload their dining dollars onto their “LIU Wallet” via the LIU website or at the kiosk next to Campus Concierge.