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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Student charge will be limited this fall

Campus Dining Services, MizzouRec and The Mizzou Store are limiting student charge options, and more changes are in the works.

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The Mizzou Market is one extension of Campus Dining Services that will be affected by new student charge restrictions, which target food, clothes, and other non-academic sales.

Lane Burdette/Staff Photographer

June 22, 2017

Corrected 06/22/2017 at 6:48 p.m. Update: A previous version of this story stated that the work group did not include student representatives. But according to MU spokeswoman Liz McCune, administrators have reached out to MSA leaders to get involvement in the work group. They will likely be discussing the change Monday.

Students will no longer be able to charge some expenses to their accounts beginning Aug. 1. Administrators plan to make substantial changes to the student charge payment options that will restrict students from using it for some personal expenses.

Student charge purchases will no longer be available at Campus Dining Services locations or for services at MizzouRec. The Mizzou Store purchases will be restricted to books, school supplies and other academic materials. It will not include clothing, food, cosmetics or personal hygiene items.

“The change is intended to help students and their families pay for academic materials over the course of the semester without acquiring unnecessary debt,” MU spokeswoman Liz McCune said.

According to McCune, Cashiers at Mizzou Market and other CDS locations will be working to inform students of the change. Summer Welcome leaders have also been instructed to tell incoming freshman and their parents about the changes, though no official statement has yet been sent to current MU students.

The university, instead, will be promoting the use of E.Z. charge. The service is a prepaid charging option that allows funds to be applied to an account that students can access with their Mizzou TigerCard ID. Student charge will still be available at other locations across campus until the work group identifies further options that they decide need to be limited. The $1,250 cap on student charge will not change, according to McCune.

Unlike student charge, students can only use TigerCard if funds have already been added to their account.

Student representatives were not adequately involved in the recent decision to scale back student charge options, according to Missouri Students Association president Nathan Willett. He and MSA Vice President Payton Englert will be meeting with administrators on Monday to discuss the rollback.

McCune said a work group with representatives from the Office of Student Affairs, Finance and the Cashier's Office will meet to discuss future changes. As of now, the group does not include student representatives.

The group will be looking at all other uses of student charge — about 150 across campus — and recommending additional changes to student charge services that may be made for the spring 2018 semester.

“The potential change is something that university leaders have been talking to students and student leaders about for years,” McCune said.

According to UM System President Mun Choi, concerns arose with students who student charged non-essential items and were unable to pay off debts before re-enrolling.

“We … want those students to be able to come back the following semester and not fall into the hole because they charged things that were unnecessary to their academic progress,” McCune said.

At an announcement at the Mizzou Store Wednesday, Choi highlighted university efforts to provide open source educational resources like online textbooks, which McCune said will be available with student charge.

Edited by Zia Kelly | zkelly@themaneater.com

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