The semester is wrapping for institutions across the country, and thus begins the scramble to spend leftover campus card funds before they expire. But at Auburn University, new uses for leftover funds on student TigerCards are being tested in the form of donations made to charitable organizations in the local Auburn community.
As reported by Auburn’s student publication, The Plainsman, TigerCard funds rollover from the fall semester into the spring, but do not rollover to the following academic year after the summer months. The unspent TigerCard funds from spring semesters are allocated back to the university and Tiger Dining for the purpose of improving the dining operations for the coming semester.
According to Glenn Loughridge, director of campus dining at Auburn, approximately 10% of TigerCard funds go unspent each year, equating to nearly $1 million in returned funds back to the university and Tiger Dining.
Early ideas included throwing an event where students could convert leftover funds into cash and spend it at the event with all proceeds being given to charity. The idea was ultimately deemed to be against university policies, so alternate methods had to be found.
Instead, a partnership between the Committee of 19 — a food security advocacy group — and the Auburn Food Bank put together a plan that sees students purchase food from on-campus stores with TigerCard funds and then place the foodstuffs in a donation box at one of a host of on-campus locations.
University campus dining has thus far been supportive of the efforts. “It’s funny because this is the first time I’ve been approached about it, but this year two different organizations took it upon themselves to do something about it,” Loughridge said in an interview with The Plainsman. “It’s really cool to see students care so much about their community and those around them but it is my job to encourage them to spend their TigerCard money on themselves.”