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BUC$ makes off-campus debut

Special debit-card like accounts tied to University ID cards may now be used to make purchases at more than a dozen off-campus businesses.

BUC$ was created in 1999 as a way to simplify vending-machine purchases on campus, said Stephen Kellogg, BUC$ coordinator. It has also been accepted at campus vendors such as the University Bookstore and Take One Video.

There’s no cost to deposit money in the account, which is kept separate from meal plan funds, though both are accessed with University ID cards. Students, faculty and staff members may participate in the program.

The new off-campus expansion, which was about 18 months in the making, has primarily targeted restaurants, including several that frequently make deliveries on campus. The initial group of merchants includes Far East Kitchen, Domino’s Pizza and Campus Wings and Pizza.

However, two CVS locations have already signed on and Kellogg said he would welcome participation from other area businesses such as salons and even Kinko’s.
Merchants in the program have agreed not to accept BUC$ for purchases of alcohol, tobacco, gift cards and explicit materials, Kellogg said. Secret shoppers will be used to ensure compliance with those rules.

Beyond offering convenience, the effort may help some people feel more secure because they’ll no longer need to carry as much cash with them. It also provides another natural connection between the campus and the community as a whole, Kellogg noted.

A student survey conducted last year helped determine which merchants were approached as the program began. Customers may suggest businesses contact Off Campus Dining Network to sign up for the program. Details are online at

“I’d love to see this succeed,” Kellogg said. “It’s in students’ hands at this point.”

On the Internet
Participating merchants include Adriano’s, Arby’s, Campus Wings and Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery, CVS at 249 Main St. and 68 Main St., CyberCafe West, Domino’s Pizza on Baldwin Street and on Vestal Avenue, Far East Kitchen, Grande Bella Cucina, Home Deli, Nezuntoz, Salsaritas Fresh Cantina and Tully’s Good Times.
For more details, visit

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Last Updated: 10/14/08