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Aramark Discusses Flex Dollars

By Tyler D'Angelo
On February 2, 2017

Many students and faculty were not aware of this policy.

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College students are always on the go, whether it is going to class or studying for an exam. Unfortunately, with such busy schedules, it is oftentimes hard to find opportunities to eat. With their brains expending so much energy, it is important to develop a good eating schedule. This leads to the question of where to eat: the cafeteria or the student center restaurants? Students have Flex Dollars on their selected meal plans to utilize if they want to switch it up from the cafeteria, but is there more to know about them? states, “All Residence Hall students are required to purchase one of three on-campus meal plans through Concord Dining Services. The charge is automatically assessed as part of the ‘Room & Board’ fees.” Of the three meal plans offered there is “The Athens,” which consists of 7 meals per week in the Libby Alvis Dining Hall and $260 flex per semester. “The Concord” consists of 12 meals per week in the dining hall and $175 flex per semester. Lastly, “The Mountain Lion” consists of 19 meals per week and $20 flex per semester. What is the significance of Flex Dollars? Lori Keaton, production manager for Aramark, gives some insight into the Flex Dollars offered on the students’ meal plans. Keaton states, “Flex [is] designed to replace missed meals in the cafeteria to where [students] can go downstairs and eat.”

    According to, “Flex Dollars allow you to supplement your meal plan by providing discretionary spending money for use at campus restaurants. Flex Dollars are a safe way to spend on campus since they are loaded on your Concord ID.” Flex Dollars seem very important in the aspect of which meal plan a student may select. If a student wants more Flex Dollars versus meals in the Libby Alvis Dining Hall, they have that option. On the other hand, if students want more meals in the dining hall versus more Flex Dollars, they also have that option. Meal plans offered at Concord are essential and in saying that, students should be aware of their Flex Dollars on their accounts.

    At the end of a school semester, the remaining Flex Dollars selected from one of the three student meal plans disappear if not used. However, faculty and staff who decide to load Flex Dollars on their plans stay from semester to semester. Students do have the opportunity for their Flex Dollars to roll over as well. Keaton explains this saying, “If [students] come and buy Flex, that money stays, as well as faculty and staff. Anyone that comes in and puts money on their card in the office, that money rolls over.” When asked about the length of time this policy has been on campus, Keaton says that is has been in place for as long as she has been here and she’s been here for 21 years.

    Undoubtedly, this policy has been in place for a while at Concord; however, do students and faculty know about it? A random sample taken over the course of one day on Concord’s campus showed that out of 28 students, one student said they knew of the policy and 27 students said they did not. Out of 17 faculty members, 17 did not know of the policy. More students and faculty need to be aware of such an important policy concerning the way they eat on campus. Students should know Flex Dollars purchased with their own money, aside from the selected meal plan, transfer over from the end of a semester. When asked if this policy would ever change, Keaton states, “I don’t make that decision so I am not at liberty to say.”    

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