Staff Editorial

For many Lawrentians, a major reason for choosing this school is its convenient position right in the middle of Appleton. Restaurants, bars, malls, an airport, a bus station and more are all signs that modern civilization is within easy reach. Most restaurants close to campus depend on student business, and students depend on them for a late-night sandwich or chicken lo mein.
Because of this close relationship, an effective arrangement could be implemented which would allow students to purchase goods from local businesses using the Viking Gold debit system. Purchases would be easier and probably more frequent, and an arrangement of this sort would guarantee that the relationship between the campus and local businesses remained strong.
Aside from food vendors, Conkey’s Bookstore would also be a good candidate for Viking Gold or student account purchases. Lawrentians are often faced with large book costs at the beginning of the term, and setting aside a certain amount of Viking Gold money to pay for books or charging them to a student account would make this process much easier. In addition, Conkey’s would benefit from the relationship because they could avoid credit card access fees and complications with processing checks.
Of course, there would be many logistical and cost issues to consider when implementing a system like this, as similar programs are usually reserved for larger universities. However, because of local businesses’ extremely strong reliance on income from students, they would most likely express significant interest in its implementation. From the students’ point of view, a lack of cash or the long wait for a paycheck would be less likely to hinder their purchasing from local businesses.
Finally, another concern regarding such an arrangement is that campus Dining Services’ income could suffer. When compared to downtown businesses, however, Dining Services will remain unique in two ways: First, in its extremely student-friendly atmosphere and second, in its unbeatable convenience.
Lawrence students tend to be both extremely busy and hesitant to leave the “Lawrence Bubble” more than a few times per week. The extension of Viking Gold to select downtown businesses would simply increase the possibility that they would frequent those businesses instead of others and would not significantly affect the use of Dining Services as the best way to get a quick, complete meal.
The main issue at stake is the convenience of students and local business owners, and both would benefit from an agreement extending Viking Gold past the boundaries of campus.