The Crusader OneCard: Handy or Hazardous?

By Julia Maher ’23

Opinions Editor

The Crusader OneCard serves as an all-purpose card that provides access to dining dollars, residence halls, and academic buildings on the campus of the College of the Holy Cross. Although it seems convenient for students to handle only one card for every task in their busy lives, it is also dangerous. The card can be used to mindlessly spend dining dollars in locations like Cool Beans, a coffee shop; Crossroads, a late night and quick bite dining option; and the Lobby Shop, a convenience store. Particularly in the Lobby Shop, the prices of items for sale are not marked clearly or explicitly. It is quite easy and common for students to pick up a couple of snacks from the Lobby Shop, completely oblivious of how much their entire purchase costs, for the cashier to not tell them how many dollars they spent, and for the student to not inquire, either.

Moreover, if students would like to check the balance of their dining dollars, they can either ask for their card to be swiped to reveal the value, or they can check through the campus’ Grubhub app. Through either method, however, students cannot view the cost of each individual transaction on their OneCard. It is already bad enough that students cannot view the prices of items while they are buying them, but they also cannot check the prices after they make their purchases. A clearer system must be implemented.

This dysfunctional dynamic does not allow students to budget and manage their dining dollars responsibly, which will translate into their lives after college. Not only is this completely disrespectful to students, but it is also hazardous—when students form habits and attitudes of apathy toward what and how they consume material goods, they will not be prepared for financial responsibility or conscientiousness throughout their lives. Since they form apathetic attitudes toward budgeting in college, they may extend it to their future choices. This oblivion could result in adults who do not budget well, prepare adequately for retirement, practice good judgment in their investments, or value generosity in their donations to impactful organizations. 

If Holy Cross would like to fully respect its students and uphold its mission, which states, “Holy Cross seeks to build a community marked by freedom, mutual respect, and civility,” then the College should add a feature to the Crusader OneCard that allows students to view each transaction made on their card and also explicitly price the items in the Lobby Shop. The convenience of the OneCard does not have to be jeopardized in order for students to receive clarity and to be prepared well for life after college. If not only the students respect the College, but the College also respects them, then the Holy Cross community will grow more wholesome and ethical.

Photo courtesy of holycross.edu

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