I am writing in response to the editorial article written last week called ‘The failure of FLEX.” This article completely disregards some of the great benefits of the FLEX program and lacks a sound basis for many of its arguments.
First of all, the reason that FLEX cannot be used for vending machines is that our meal plans are tax exempt and vending machine food is not.
Also, FLEX can be used at various off-campus locations, and along with that, it can be used anywhere on campus, allowing students to avoid carrying around bulky wallets with credit cards and cash. The fact that our school has teamed up with outside businesses to accept FLEX helps spread business to local vendors and gives students a chance to eat or spend money somewhere off campus without their wallets.
Lastly, in regards to William’s argument about printing: I am fairly sure that if printing were to be free, tuition would be jacked up for all (and keep in mind that not everyone uses printing in the libraries). However, there are proposals currently in development to reduce the costs of printing for those who try to be sustainable and use double-side printing.
I personally know quite a few students who do not pay for their FLEX accounts. Their parents pay for it as a spending account and therefore FLEX is not just like a credit card that is your own.
In that sense, the fact that we cannot remove funds is a positive benefit of the FLEX program, because parents can give their sons and daughters a spending account that they know can only be used for specific, legitimate items.
Furthermore, you don’t need to worry about paying for your FLEX account every month, and adding money to your FLEX is extremely easy online. I alternately propose that the focus should be on promoting and expanding the FLEX program. It makes life easier for many students, and helps support local businesses I don’t see the flaw in this at all.
Class of 2012.