BbOne Tragedy

by Michael Kreicher | 11/17/05 6:00am

Throughout my four terms at Dartmouth, I have been spoiled by the plethora of conveniences provided by the College. I take it for granted that, unlike many of my friends at other schools, I can go to one of the dining halls at almost any hour of the day and get a full meal. The unique system of DBA allows for this luxury.

I also take for granted the fact that I can simply swipe my Dartmouth card in the laundry room rather than worry about having exact change for the machines. I have grown accustomed to being able to go to any GreenPrint station 24 hours a day and print lengthy readings and documents. Heck, I do not even need to take my wallet out of my pocket to get into buildings. The DASH account on my Dartmouth Card is particularly useful for buying tacos, burgers or cookies from various student service groups outside of frat houses at one in the morning. Rumor has it that I "donated" $18 for one cookie during Halloween, so this convenience does have its drawbacks. Although I certainly appreciate all of these luxuries, I almost feel entitled rather than privileged to have them.

The amazingly versatile Dartmouth Card is a wonderful thing. It can be used at the library, the dining halls, all around Hanover and even miles away at the Skiway. In the midst of chaotic college life, it is no small comfort to have so many essential functions combined into one multifaceted card. My favorite thing of all is being able to order some delicious EBAs late at night and simply write my signature on the bill, knowing that the money will be subtracted from my BbOne account. Oh wait, after Dec. 8, I will no longer be able to do that. This is because Dartmouth College and Blackboard are terminating their alliance aimed at providing great service to Dartmouth students. A moment of silence in honor of the impending death of BbOne is in order.

I am not exactly sure why Blackboard is no longer able to support the "specific criteria" required for BbOne to remain operational, but Tuesday was certainly a sad day for Dartmouth students. I will no longer be able to order late night EBAs and I probably will not go to The Wrap nearly as often as I currently do. This is because I rarely carry enough cash with me to absorb a $10 expenditure here or a $15 purchase there. Like most other college students, I find that I am constantly looking to conserve what little money I have. I have worked over the past four summers to build a decent-sized bank account, but with sophomore summer looming and hefty car insurance bills to pay I feel as though I cannot afford to spend money on late night pizza or overpriced chicken caesar wraps. During Winter term, my life will have a small empty spot in it where the security blanket of BbOne used to exist.

My sadness over the cancellation of BbOne is not entirely due to selfish reasons. I genuinely believe that there will be a negative effect on Hanover businesses. In the past, students have been able to use the Dartmouth Card to pay bills at Molly's, Lou's, Wheelock Books and the Co-op. I do not think that it is unreasonable to say that students will be less likely to patronize these establishments when they no longer have the convenience of BbOne.

Critics might point out that the money on my BbOne is the same as the money on my debit card or in my wallet and that I could simply use that money as cash to pay for pizza. Not so fast, my friend. Therein lies the problem. Cash is not the same as money on BbOne. This is because my parents generously provide the money on my Dartmouth Card whereas I am forced to spend my own hard earned money if I use cash. It is much easier to convince my parents that they need to deposit more money in my mysterious Dartmouth Card account than it is to ask for a couple $20 bills.

Unless Dartmouth can do something to develop another way for students to use their cards in Hanover, Tuesday will go down in history as the end of a glorious era.