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September 28, 2007
Vol. 49 No. 4

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SGA to vote on Smart Card technology

Representatives from Char-lie's and ARAMARK gave a presentation to the Student Government Association Mon-day night about implementing Smart Card technology in the coffeehouse through SGA funding. Senior SGA President Neal Lesher said the issue will be up for a vote at the meeting on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.

"We're trying to integrate a one-card system across campus," said Bob Ginader, director of food services. He said that eventually, students will be able to use their identification cards to pay for laundry services and snacks from vending machines, as well as meals.

The cost to upgrade the entire campus' technology, Ginader said, will be about $80,000 to $90,000. It will cost $7056.50 to implement the system in Charlie's, according to an ARAMARK invoice.

Senior Lindsay Moretti, SGA public safety and residence life liaison, said that last year's executive board made a verbal agreement with Charlie's that SGA would fund the upgrades. She added that the board members at the time had planned to use the Susquehanna University Student Government Association Fund to pay for the technology.

Lesher said that if SGA doesn't use the fund to honor its commitment, it will "put Charlie's in a predicament," forcing the coffee house to seek supplemental funding at the end of the year.

The fund, which originally was not to be touched until the beginning of the 2011-12 school year, was amended earlier this semester so that SGA may withdraw funds after a three-fourths majority of SGA and the approval of Michael Coyne, treasurer and vice president of finance.

Junior Jesse Ramsey, Charlie's general manager, said the coffeehouse was designed to be a non-alcoholic alternative for students.

Ramsey said that one of the main problems facing Charlie's, which currently only accepts cash payments, is that many students don't carry around money on a regular basis.

"If you can have just one card, why not use it?" he said.

Junior Allison Flood, Charlie's marketing manager, said that when she works behind the counter at the coffeehouse, approximately one out of every five people ask her if they can use their Crusader Cash to pay.

In addition to allowing more students to utilize the social space, junior Deanna Snyder, Charlie's finance manager, said the upgrades would improve Charlie's book-keeping capabilities, including recording inventory and income more accurately.

"The current register doesn't have the capability to keep track of how much money is coming in," Snyder said. "This would be a really good investment for SGA."

Jody Hare, SGA advisor and director of campus activities, said that since the purpose of Charlie's is not to make a profit, the coffeehouse can't afford to pay for the upgrades on its own.

"The money isn't out there through Charlie's funding," she said.

Ginader said that he has been working to get to this point for two years, adding that the machines are currently sitting in his hallway waiting to be installed. He said that after the project receives funding, the new technology could be up and running in four to five days.

As for integrating the rest of the campus, Ginader said, "ARAMARK is committed to delivering this thing," noting that the most difficult aspect of the upgrades will be laundry services because of the age of some of the machines.

In other business
SGA voted to amend its constitution in two ways. In order for these changes to take effect, a referendum vote of the student body must be taken. A majority of the students who vote in that referendum must approve the changes.

First, SGA created positions for representatives from Diversity Council, Chapel Council and SUN Council. The amendment says that those representatives will have the same rights and privileges as a senator, so they will be able to vote at meetings and must sit on a committee. The representatives will be chosen by their respective councils.

Second, SGA removed the position of computer technology liaison from its constitution and permanently added the position of admissions liaison. Liaisons act as heads of SGA's committees and are appointed by the president.

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