Off Campus Flex Blues

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We’re one day in to Michelle Diamond’s CCSC’s big off-campus flex adventure, and cold reality is beginning to set in. Bwog’s deep and meticulous investigation of anecdotes solicited from fellow Bwoggers shows that CUID transactions are drawn-out processes that challenge the patience of the already rather impatient cashiers at local eateries. Justin Vlasits reports that at Ham Del, “the guy behind the counter was complaining about how the flex swiping machine is quite slow.” The estimated time to print a receipt is a shocking three minutes. What’s causing the delay? The cashier from Paul Barndt’s most recent trip to Nussbaum explained that the card had to be “verified,” which left him “standing in an awkward position at the entrance and bumping into old ladies.” Is the welfare of our delicate neighborhood geriatric population worth the sheer pleasure of eating Nussbaum’s delicious black and white cookies on our parents’ dime? Bwog’s answer is an only slightly tentative yes.

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  1. Credit  

    to Michelle Diamond for the final push, but I don't think it's fair to call this her project. And I don't even care for CCSC members.

  2. Anonymous  

    Of the three times I've gone to use Flex at Hamdel and Nussbaum, twice I've been told that Flex was done, having to pay for my prepared foodstuffs with a credit card I worried was over or nearly at its low limit. How nerve wracking.

  3. Well...  

    It's the first day. Everyone's still getting the bugs out. Give it a chance, I think this will work.

  4. typical  

    columbia style to start whining about a good thing. Give it two days kids.

  5. Bethmann-Hollweg  

    What's the point of this project? Money is money, who cares if its own flex or not?

    If anything, this is just further ruining an already blighted NYC neighborhood by transforming it into an absurd image of College Town USA.

    CCSC should be impeached.

  6. Bethmann-Hollweg  

    Also, who eats at Nussbaum and Ham Del?

    Morons, that's who.

    • uh.

      People that like excellent food? (Not so much Nussbaum.)

      Also, are we really hoping that these problems will be ironed out in a couple days? If the *hardware* is slow, that shit's never gonna get fixed.

      • ...  

        my guess is that they're probably using dialup terminals and that they haven't properly tuned and/or built out sufficient capacity for the dial-in pool.

        but that's just a guess. if they were smart, they'd save money and just use wireless/wired ethernet. given that they've wired a huge chunk of the neighborhood, it wouldn't be all that hard or expensive to put in a few strategically placed access points and bypass the pain and recurring cost of pots lines altogether.

  7. wait a second  

    off-campus flex is George krebs baby.

    lets get the facts straight bwog.

    • On CCSC

      George has exagerated his importance in making Flex happen. A lot of people have worked on this initiative, not just him or Michelle. To say it is his "baby" is a total lie. No doubt that he worked on it but by no means was he the driving force of the initiative.

      If anything, Peter Valereis is the one who did most of the legwork on this initiative and has taken the least amount of credit for it. I certainly respect him for working hard but not jumping in front of the cameras and reporters to tout his greatness. I guess that can't be said about everyone. Some people do the exact opposite.

  8. Robert Walpole  

    "Excellent food"?

    Fuck me, you really are a tit.

  9. poor kid  

    Some of us don't have cash or credit cards (due to lack of cash to pay them off), so especially when Fairway's system is up and running, it will allow us to do other things, like spend what little we have on booze and pot instead of shampoo and soap. BTW, has anyone used the card at Fairway yet?

    • yay Flex  

      no, but it's going to be awesome when i do!! Your logic is sound.

    • so poor  

      that you can justify charging toiletries and the like to your parents? absurd.

      • hear, hear!  

        Yeah, this is absurd. I don't get this. If someone is poor, then his poor parents, through this flex business, are simply being forced to pay for him/her. Flex as means to compel parental financial support? Heart-to-heart conversation, you know, is pretty effective too.

        Meanwhile, lines in these places are slowed down for everybody else who, you know, has the filial skills to speak to mommy and daddy.

  10. yo' all  

    yo'all there

    for past 10 years, off campus flex has been considered, not implemented because of ssn on your ID card. Now no ssn = off campus flex. period. The credit should go to Housing & Dining and University ID card.

    class of 98

    • the Man

      I concur. Off-campus flex has been in the works for a very long time. No one currently at the school has any business taking any credit for it. In fact, so many things at this school move so slowly, that anything that comes to fruition nowadays results from work done at least 3 years ago.

      ~SEAS Alum '07

      • The Man, Too

        Definitely - people in the class of 2007 will remember Wayne Ting for pushing for it, people before us will remember others pushing for this, etc. This only happened because of the removal of your SSN from your ID card and THAT only happened because of the break in at NYU a few years ago where 100s of students had their SSNs stolen.

  11. Oh Christ  

    Why the hell do people always assume that parents pay for Flex, and then get all hoity-toity about how Flex and cash are the same? In my case, all the money that goes towards Flex gets covered by student loans that I'm eventually going to have to pay, but I'd rather pay these things off when I have a career and a steady income rather than while I'm still a poor college student. Consumption smoothing, bitches.

  12. It's not even CCSC!  

    It's the Office of Student Services.


  13. Type Three Letters?  

    Same here. Attention people whose bills are paid for by Mommy and Daddy: Stop projecting onto me.

  14. I pay, bitch  

    i.e. this allows me to pay for my toiletries in ten years, not a dime of which my parents will be paying, nor ever have.

  15. ...

    I have a college savings account that is designated exclusively for school-related expenses, meaning that the money there can be put in my Flex account. Now that Flex is off campus, I can use that money on groceries, etc. instead of using a credit/debit card.

    • So...  

      Basically this creates a loophole so you can use your student loans and grants to buy things they specifically aren't given to you for?


      • Idiot.  

        What? I've not seen a student loan that didn't exist to accommodate living expenses. The financial aid office even gives you a budget for school-approved loans which exceeds by a good margin the cost of tuition and room/board. You don't know what the hell you're talking about.

  16. well in that case  

    you can just use your own credit card that you are also paying for. i don't understand what the difference here is.

  17. No....  

    No...I don't receive any financial aid, so the money in my college account is money that my parents saved and set aside for college-related expenses. The way the account is set up, the money can only be accessed for things like tuition, housing, and other fees (like Flex). Off-campus Flex just lets me use the money my parents saved for my college expenses in more ways - what's the issue with that?

    • Robert Walpole  

      To be fair, the problem seems to lie more with the fact that you're parents were morons when setting up your "college account". This highlights the fact that you certainly did not have "legacy" status when applying to Columbia.

      The point remains: there's no need for off campus flex, which has done nothing if not work to continually debase one of the most shit areas of New York.

      • Walpole?  

        I like when haughty asshats do something that leaves them open to an ad hominem attack, such as spelling 'your' as 'you're'. It doesn't address the point they tried to make, but it does make you laugh at their inflated figure.

      • ..........

        Actually, my parents were pretty smart about setting up the account because it has a much higher interest rate than a normal bank account. I only have money sitting in the account now because of merit scholarships that lowered the cost of attendance to less than they had saved.

  18. JAG  

    This might've been mentioned already, but I'm pretty sure certain financial aid packages provide flex points/dollars for book and food expenses. so now people can use financial aid dollars for soap, beer, or whatever else they want. from our perspective, it doesn't seem like we have much to complain about.

  19. Earl of Bute  

    When can I use my flex to buy a table (and a bottle of Grey Goose) at Bungalow 8?

    I'd rather use my student loans for alcohol purchases (as well as for my NYPD at 3 A.M. on my way home), than for books and educational initiatives.

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