Beginning in January of this year, students were able to take their URos off campus, and thus far, the program seems to be off to a good start.

According to recent figures, between January 18 and January 31, over $10,000 in URos was spent at local area businesses, according to Students’ Association’s Projects and Services Committee Chairman and sophomore Harrell Kirstein.

This has proven to be a huge boon for not only the Students’ Association, but the University as well. The URos off-campus program is being run under the supervision of Director of Campus Dining Services and Auxiliary Operations Cam Schauf, in cooperation with Rochester Center for Community Leadership Assistant Director of Operations Brian Rotach.

The program will soon be expanding, too.

“CVS has been added and will be accepting URos within the next week or so. We are working on a list of businesses to add for next fall,” Schauf said in a statement.

There are expected to be at least five businesses added next fall, according to Kirstein.

“It’ll definitely increase my business,” CVS Manager Sue Skuza said. “It’ll be beneficial for both students and the store.”

There are, however, still challenges for the newly initiated program. Of those students who know the URos off-campus program exists, it is still generally unknown where the program is in place.

“I know that there might be some stores that accept it, but I do not know which ones,” sophomore Henry Garcia said.

So far, Pelligrino’s has done the most in numbers of sales, although the Distillery has brought in the most money. However, not all businesses are faring so well. Subway is expected to be dropping out fairly soon because it has not had enough business, Kirstein said.

Kirstein mentioned other potential plans for the URos, which, although not in the immediate future, will include taking the program online, so students will be able to use it when purchasing food over the Internet for delivery to the campus.

The idea for using URos off campus was the brainchild of SA Senator and junior Greg Meditz.

“It was the kind of thing that other campuses in the area were offering, and you have to ask yourself, ‘Why doesn’t the most prestigious school in the area do this?'” Meditz said.

After doing some research and, eventually, making calls to the Rochester Institute of Technology, which has a similar program in place, Meditz brought the idea before various parts of the administration in order to win its approval.

“It started with my idea, but it became much more than that really quickly,” Meditz said.

He and Schauf also are investigating plans for the future that will fit under the strategic planning initiative under way at UR.

“One thing Cam and I are both interested in doing is [seeing that] every business built on the Brooks Landing project will use URos,” Meditz said.

There may be one other major challenge for URos. The sentimentality of its predecessor, Flex, still goes strong in student hearts, and the new name has not yet sunk in everywhere on campus.

“It’ll take some time to catch on, like anything,” Meditz said.

Brenneman is a member of the class of 2009.

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