GREENCASTLE -- DePauw University students can use a portion of their meal money in Greencastle restaurants with a simple swipe of a card, under a new program being implemented for the 2009-10 academic year.
The new "DePauw Tiger Express" card will allow students to use DPU Plus dollars ($150 per year of fees which are included in the University's meal plan that can also be used for meals, vending and copy machines and laundry) or Tiger Dollars (funds they put on their card separate from meal plan) at ten nearby restaurants.
Eventually, parents and students may purchase additional funds for the Tiger Express card by visiting a soon-to-be-launched Web site.
"This is designed to be a win-win for students and local merchants," says Brad Kelsheimer, vice president for finance and administration at DePauw. "Our students will now have much greater choice when it comes to spending their discretionary meal dollars, and the DePauw Tiger Express card will make the transactions easy. Local restaurants will benefit from the business they receive. This underscores our commitments to serve our students in the best ways possible and to enhance the many bonds which connect DePauw and Greencastle."
All students may participate in the program. The card may be used to pay tips, but no alcohol or tobacco products may be paid for using Tiger Express dollars.
"Dr. Casey and I have been talking about the possibility of working out a swipe card system since last summer," says Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray. "This new program offers students more dining options and brings new customers to some of our great restaurants."
Effective today, the following local merchants will accept the DePauw Tiger Express card:
* ABC Gyros
* Almost Home
* Cavern Club
* Los Martinez
* Mama Nunz
* Pizza King
* Treasures on the Square
Talks are continuing with other restaurants.
The economic impact of DePauw University on the local economy was the subject of an independent study in 2005. The report found that DePauw provides more than $176 million in benefits to Central Indiana on an annual basis and its activities create jobs employing 2,335 people.