By Angela Ashby
Despite complaints, the Cougareat does not accept credit and debit cards, and officials do not know when systems will be updated.
“We receive regular complaints,” said Dean Wright, director of Dining Services. “It is the number one complaint at the Cougareat.”
Dining Services workers said they recognize some patrons are inconvenienced because of the registers” limited capabilities.
“It”s really annoying,” said Julia Oliphant, a senior majoring in history. “I live by my debit card; I never carry cash.”
This year, concession stands at LaVell Edwards Stadium and the Marriott Center were updated to process credit or debit card charges. Dining Services said 18 percent of charges made in the stadium since then have been credit or debit charges.
“We were surprised to see the number of people who used credit cards at concession stands,” Wright said.
He said updating the system is a priority, but the Signature Card office is ultimately responsible for changing the system.
Craig Schow, manager at the Signature Card office, said all machines are on the same system, and a change would effect more than the Cougareat.
“Our number one concern is students and the university community,” Schow said.
He said the concern is to keep service speedy, and using a Signature Card is the fastest way to pay in the Cougareat.
He said the Signature Card account feature on Route Y was set up to allow students to put money on their cards without hassle so they can use their cards on campus.
“We want to give the best performance to students we can,” Schow said. “We are interested in serving the students — no matter what the payment is.”
“A Signature Card is faster than a bank card,” Wright said.
Some students agree that when venues accept bankcards, it slows the overall process.
“We have ATMs right here where you can pull cash out,” said Robert Stephens, a junior from Las Vegas, Nev. “This way cashiers aren”t spending so much time hassling with people signing stuff.”
With the current policy, cashiers spend plenty of time just explaining the no-bankcard policy.
“We probably have one or two people a day who want to use a credit card,” said Monica Beaucham, a student cashier at Tommasito”s in the Cougareat. “And I”m only here three hours a day.”
Crystal Monson, a cashier at Scoreboard Grill, said refusing bankcards each day gets annoying.
Beaucham said some people get irritated, but are usually willing to use the nearby ATM.
“I have never had anyone yell at me about it,” Beaucham said.
Wright said his department has chosen to put its capital in different areas.
Wright said upgrades to the Sky Room and Museum Caf? were made last January.
Also last year, sales areas like the Grab n” Go were added to help speed up service.
This year, Dining Services looked at needs in May and decided to direct money determined to the original creamery, ovens and dishwashers.
Dining Services also plans to get a hamburger restaurant like McDonald”s or Wendy”s.
All of these adjustments cost Dining Services money.
“We are self funded – that means no tithing money, no tuition money is given to us,” Wright said. “We are totally self supporting.”
Wright said the Cougareat just renewed its franchise with Taco Bell. With the renewal, they updated the ordering system.
“The new point of sales system has credit card capabilities,” Wright said. “It was discussed as an administration and decided that it was confusing to say yes Taco Bell accepts plastic, but no for somewhere like Subway.”