Bear Bucks expand to Blueberry Hill
Washington University students are now able to use Bear Bucks at Blueberry Hill.
The restaurant and music club located on the Delmar Loop began to accept Bear Bucks shortly before Thanksgiving. Bobo Noodlehouse and Kayak’s Coffee, both located near the north-east corner of campus, have accepted Bear Bucks all semester.
Coordinators of the Bear Bucks program have been seeking relationships with restaurants and businesses around campus based on input from a University-wide Student Union survey issued early this fall.
One semester into the program’s launch, many students are spending their Bear Bucks on food purchases.
Bear Bucks were previously named Campus Card Points. They are non-transferable cash points used in place of cash to purchase goods and services both on and off campus, similar to a debit card. One Bear Buck is equivalent to one dollar.
“Washington University talked about the Bear [Bucks] program, and I was immediately interested in it, because we have such a wonderful relationship with the students at Washington University,” Blueberry Hill owner Joe Edwards said.
According to Edwards, the program has been successful thus far.
“The very next day after the announcement went out, we had quite a few students come and they were appreciative that we were doing it, which was very gratifying,” Edwards said.
He estimates that upward of 500 Washington University students frequent the restaurant each week.
Students cannot buy alcohol with Bear Bucks because it violates a policy of the program.
Bear Bucks may be used at most on-campus dining locations and vending machines, the campus bookstore, Bear Necessities, on-campus laundry machines, Edison Theatre, Wash-U-Wash, Wydown Water, Student Union and Congress of the South 40 events and on-campus printing stations.
According to Rachel Reinagel, manager of Campus Card services, Bear Bucks is a convenient alternative to cash and saves students and faculty from the constant worry of carrying cash.
“Unlike meal points, Bear Bucks can be used at various locations on and off campus and are not limited to food purchases. In addition, purchases made at on-campus dining locations do not include sales tax; therefore save the customer seven to nine percent per transaction,” she said. “Students can use their Bear Bucks once their meal plans have been exhausted. Meal points also expire at the end of each semester while Bear Bucks never expire.”
Reinagel said the program may expand further.
“We are currently in the pilot phase of the off-campus Bear Bucks program and students are excited for the program’s expansion,” she added. “It is important that we include off-campus businesses that students want and will utilize.”
Student Union carried out a survey early in the semester to determine where students wanted Bear Bucks to be accepted. Popular student requests included Target, FroYo on the Loop and Pi Pizzeria.