New IDs to premiere this fall
Starting this fall, the functions of the Hanover Green Card will merge with those of the DASH card to create a new student ID which can be used to purchase items both on and off-campus.
The new "Dartmouth Card" will be issued to all incoming students in the fall and will contain the accounts already on the current student ID, such as the dining and discretionary accounts, as well as a new account called the "S.A. Cash" account.
This new account will be a renamed version of the Green Card to reflect the company's recent merger with the Student Advantage corporation and can be used to make purchases at stores and restaurants in Hanover the same way the Green Card can be used.
While the functionality of the Green Card will be transferred to this new combined ID, the account will be run separately by Transaction Service Providers, the same company which runs the Green Card.
The service, which remains optional even as part of the new Dartmouth Card, will still offer discounts and coupons while also still requiring a ten dollar fee per term if students choose to use it.
All incoming students will be issued the new card with the option of subscribing to the S.A. Cash account. Current students with old IDs will still be able to use the current cards but can also upgrade to the new Dartmouth Card for three dollars.
Students who already have a Green Card membership will be able to access their old accounts through the new Dartmouth Card account.
Community members or students will still be able to acquire a separate Green Card if they want to.
Dartmouth Account Managers for Student Advantage Marc McDonald '96 said the switch will not affect the operations of the old Green Card.
"We are not going to change anything we've done. The Green Card, which is now going to be called S.A. Cash, is going to be run exactly the way it has before. The only thing that is changing is that you'll get to use it on the Dartmouth Card."
The merging of functions was widely expected as far back as last summer when the College hired Transaction Service Providers to run the DASH office.
Even at that time College Vice President and Treasurer Win Johnson told The Dartmouth that it was likely the Green Card and the DASH card would in some way merge for the Fall 1999 term.
While a prototype version of the physical Dartmouth Card is finished, Taran Lent '96, Dartmouth account manager for Student Advantage, said specifics of the card might still change.
It does not list students' birthdates as the current IDs do, but Lent said that is an issue the administration is currently debating and could change.
Lent said the S.A. Cash account was created because "it was clear there was student demand."
Transaction Service Providers will entirely run the S.A. Cash account on the new ID, and Lent said the financial arrangements of the account have not been altered because of its incorporation with the College's new Dartmouth Card.
Director of Dining Services Tucker Rossiter said he is not concerned that the easier availability and use of the off-campus account will lead to a reduced amount of DDS purchases.
"Certainly there's a potential that some of our dining students can go downtown because its easier but it's our job to do better," Rossiter said. "We think we do a good enough job ... that we'll be competitive with downtown."
Rossiter said he thinks the incorporation of the S.A. Cash account was the "right thing to do."
According to Lent, Transaction Service Providers is currently finalizing negotiations on a three-year contract to continue managing the DASH office, which will now be called the Dartmouth Card office.