Possible Increase in Student Activities Fees

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

A new proposal will be put forth to the Student Senate this February: a proposal to raise student activity fees from $50 a semester to $100 a semester. The Office of Student Activities, the Student Government Association, and the Student Activities Fee Committee have put forth this proposal after reviewing how student fees are being spent. In a survey of the student body, many students said they would enjoy more programs and weekend or late-night activities. The committees involved in proposing the rise in student fees state that the extra money will be given to clubs and organizations around campus to expand their event and activities.

The Student Senate will vote on the proposal to be put forth to the Executive Board by late March. The majority of the student body will need to support this proposal in order for the change to be made. Without student support, the proposal will not succeed nor will it be supported by the Board of Trustees. Students wishing to give their input on the proposal are invited to attend the Senate meetings.

While some students may feel that a rise in student activity fees is unnecessary, Reinhardt’s student fees are relatively low compared to other Georgia colleges. On average, other schools charge about $100-$250 a semester. A rise in student activity fees will increase the number of programs and activities around campus and enhance Reinardt’s appeal to prospective students.

Candice Bailey

Reinhardt Receives New Entrance Sign

Photo by Candice Bailey.

Photo by Candice Bailey.

Many students have noticed Reinhardt’s new sign that appeared after winter break. The generous James and Sis Brown family donated $100,000 for the new sign. The long-term friends of Reinhardt from Dalton, Georgia, felt that Reinhardt needed to make a grander first impression when strangers to the school first enter Waleska. The sign will display the words “Reinhardt University 1883”. Further construction and completion of the sign is halted until a dry date. Once the letters are put into place, the sign will be lit and flowers and shrubs will be planted around the new sign. Along with the new sign, modifications have been made to the main entrance to the campus in order for the sign to more closely resemble the new sign. In the past the family also donated money for a new athletic center: the James and Sis Brown Athletic Center.

Brasfield and Gorrie Construction Company has undertaken construction of the new sign and expects to complete the sign as soon as the rain lets up.
Candice Bailey

Campus Textbooks: On Campus vs. Online

Attending Reinhardt College is expensive enough without the cost of school materials burning a whole in student wallets. Freshmen Steven Karafa and Emily Rousseau spent about $650 on textbooks alone from the campus bookstore whereas Sophomore Josh Stone really turned his pockets inside out paying close to $850.

“My sister went to University of West Georgia and was taking 24 credit hours and only paid about $500 for her school books, compared to me taking 15 [credit hours],” says Steven. One art major describes buying books on campus as “a soul crushing experience” and Sophomore Brandon Ruff agrees with, “I don’t have my books because I can’t afford them.”

Luckily, online sources such as Amazon.com and e-Bay have the same books as the campus bookstore for lower prices. Biology by Sylvia S. Mader is $134.50 in the Reinhardt Bookstore but only $125 on Amazon and Developmental Mathematics for College Students by Tuffy and Gustafson is $146.50 at Reinhardt and $115.35 on e-Bay.

“I was supposed to pay $750 [on books] and I paid $200 or so online,” says freshmen Alyssa Rock, and a third year business major nearly spent $1,000 for books on campus before they found the same ones for about a $300 value online.

So instead of going bankrupt from fulfilling book requirements through campus bookstores, try these websites sure to have great textbook discounts;

Amazon.com
E-bay.com
Textbooks.com
Collegebookrenter.com
Ecampus.com
Collegeswapshop.com
Dealoz.com/textbooks

And for those great items that no other store would carry, the Reinhardt Bookstore still has all of your school supplies and Reinhardt apparel. Go grab cheap books from online, and your Reinhardt hoodie in the store.

Thai Cromer

Issues with the Eagle Card

Now that the infamous Eagle card has been distributed to almost everyone, certain problems have arisen as students discover that the new card is not living up to expectations. For example, many students are having trouble accessing their account to put money on their card, and those who finally access the site find a five dollar charge to deposit money. The card scanners on the soda machines don’t work. When trying to do laundry, students have to pay the machines in fifteen minute increments because the machines won’t go higher then fifteen minutes. Supposedly, people were going to be able to use their card at the bookstore to ease the process of buying class books. However, this has been made impossible because the bookstore is not able to take the Eagle Card.

The director of the Information Technology department, Ginny Tomlinson, helped to explain what exactly is going on with the cards.
“Well, the drink issues are easy to explain. Coke has some issues with the audit procedures [how the company knows how much money buyers are giving to them versus what the company has sold] that have held up the paperwork for months. So right now, even though we have card readers in the Coke machines, they won’t process any payments. We hope they’ll be on board soon. The laundry issue was actually done on purpose. Your SGA president met with Mac-Grey, the laundry vendor, last spring and got them to change the pay cycle on the dryer so that it would only run for 15 minutes. The $5 fee I did address in an email that I sent out to all students last semester. If you transfer the money directly from your checking account, using your routing and account number, then it doesn’t cost anything to transfer the money. But it can’t process your bank card like a debit card – so if you use your bank card to transfer the money it has to go through Visa and its like doing a cash advance on a credit card, for which there is generally a fee. So the alternative that we’ve set up is, if for whatever reason you can’t do the bank account transfer, you can bring cash to the business office and they’ll load it onto the card for you. The only other kink that I’m aware of is that we’re still working to get Aramark and Barnes and Noble on board with this payment system. I know B&N was reluctant to purchase the device they would need to process the payment and our rep from Heartland Campus Solution [who makes the payment system] is still working on them. I was told that Aramark just signed the agreement last Tuesday, so hopefully we’ll have them up and running soon.”

As you can see, Reinhardt is working on fixing the problems, though it’s taking a bit longer than expected to get the associates onboard with the plan. Over the next few weeks, students will see more and more things becoming possible with their Eagle Cards.

Niki Jones

El Burrito – Another Victim of the Recession

El Burrito, the Mexican restaurant near Reinhardt, will be closing soon. The restaurant has lasted almost two years in Walseska, but due to the poor economy it is about to close its doors. It seems the college cannot sustain a proper restaurant in Waleska.

El Burrito has ended its two-year lease and is now up for sale. The owners do not have the money to pay to renew this lease because there is no incoming business. Lisa, an employee of El Burrito, said, “If and when the restaurant closes, there is still a chance we might reopen in Woodstock.”

Fortunately, the store will likely stay open in Waleska for a little while longer. El Burrito is allowed to stay in their current building until someone else buys it.

El Burrito has gone through many attempts to save the restaurant, including offering a student discount. But when the college is closed or on a break, the restaurant has no business. It may be that no restaurant can survive in Waleska, since Grady Street Pizza Co. left and The Gathering Place closed. Grady Street, at least, managed to stay open for more than two years.

However, Waleska is not the only place being affected by the struggling economy. Canton has suffered greatly; the Sonic Drive-In across from Cherokee High School has closed, and the clothing-store-giant Goody’s will be closing its doors as well.

The economic wasteland seems to have swallowed another local restaurant. Reinhardt students are left wondering who will move into the El Burrito location next and if a new business will succeed.

Clint Adams

The Card to End All Cards

Reinhardt is creating a new, all-purpose Eagle Card that will replace meal cards, laundry cards, and potentially the debit cards of Reinhardt students. On November 12 and 13, students, faculty, and staff will be making the switch. Over the summer, Reinhardt formed a Technology Advisory Committee to determine what technological advancements could be made across campus. The Committee has $300,000 to use for technology improvements campus-wide over the course of the next three years. The Eagle Card was proposed to the Committee as a “one-card plan.”

Ginny Tomlinson, Director of Information Technology, explained that the card will be accessed similarly to a debit card. Each member will have their own Eagle Card account to which they can transfer money from their – or their parents’- bank accounts. Mandy Stone, a freshman religion major, voiced some concern about the security of linking the Eagle Card directly to bank accounts. “It sounds like a really good idea, and I know a lot of the big schools use this type of thing, but I would like to know what’s being done to prevent identity theft and how each account is being managed.”

There will be no crucial information on students’ Eagle Card accounts; the card and bank accounts will only briefly connect when transferring money from one to the other. “You set up your own bank account with the Eagle card. You’ll add money specifically to your Eagle Card, like how you add money to your laundry card right now. You’ll have your own system online where you can add money to your card. You can use that money to buy books at the bookstore or to eat in Canton. If your card gets stolen, you can report your card as stolen and get it turned off, just like a regular debit card, so that no one else can use it,” says Briana Moody, student body president and advocate for the one-card plan.

Using the Eagle Card around Canton isn’t a done deal, however. If companies were to accept the card, then they would need to purchase special equipment. The Technology Advisory Committee hopes that some businesses will comply. Further information on off-campus possibilities for using the Eagle Card will become available in the near future. Moody says that one advantage to implementing the one-card system across Reinhardt is that “it’s going to improve the way students live on campus and help them to learn how to organize their finances for the future…[using the card] will be a learning experience as well as an asset for the students.” The Eagle Card isn’t the only thing the Technology Advisory Committee has done. It has already built up the campus wireless system and has improved technology in select classrooms. “Next year they’re going to continue to improve technology in different classrooms and they’re going to upgrade the system that the registrar and business office uses to file all of our records, among other things,” says Moody.

Niki Jones

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