One student’s idea will soon become a campus-wide program.
Nathan McClain, senior kinesiology major, was searching for ways to eat off-campus without spending a lot of his own money. He heard about TCU’s Frog Bucks program and wondered why ACU didn’t have a similar system.
McClain designed a program that allows students to use their ID cards to purchase food at restaurants off-campus and presented it in The Greatest Ideas Challenge. Although his idea didn’t win, ACU began partnering with McClain to begin a program almost identical to the one he designed.
“It’s pretty much exactly what I envisioned it to be,” McClain said. “I’ve gotten to go to a couple of meetings and offer input.”
Dylan Benac, president of the Students’ Association, said Bean Bucks should hopefully be available off-campus halfway through the fall semester.
Soon restaurants on the program will have specific card readers that will take ACU student ID cards and charge the bill to ACU. ACU will then pay back the restaurant. Details are still being worked out, but McClain is hoping for a dollar to dollar exchange.
Some of the restaurants expected to participate are Sharky’s, Little Panda, Jason’s Deli and Rosa’s.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for us to use our meal plan in a different way,” McClain said. “It’s a way for students to use their money more wisely by not having to pay for food all the time straight from your own budget.”
Benac said he was surprised at how quickly this idea was being implemented.
“It’s been worked on really hard,” Benac said. “Most of the summer was spent making it happen, and they’re close. The students were able to put themselves forward, and we actually produced results.”
Anthony Williams, chief business services officer, was unavailable for comment.