By Connor Renshaw
With the opening of the Bovay’s Study Bar and Mercantile on Watson Street Ripon College students may soon have more places where they can use their Rally Dollars. Not only will students be able to use Rally Dollars at Bovay’s, the college is also looking to allow for Rally Dollar use at certain businesses downtown.

“You would take your ID and you’d be able to use that at Bovay’s, you’d be able to use it at Mugs at Bovay’s and at Mugs at its other location, you’d be able to use it at J’s, and if I’m not mistaken you’d also be able to use it at Domino’s,” said Jessica Joanis, assistant dean of students. While Mugs Coffeehouse, J’s BBQ and Domino’s Pizza are all restaurants, Joanis was sure to clarify that Rally Dollars, which are currently used to pay for laundry on campus, are “not part of your meal plan, not part of your points… [they are] a separate thing.”

As a result of this distinction, potential future locations for rally dollar use are not limited to restaurants. “We’re trying to help merchants downtown to take advantage of the student market,” Joanis said. This does not necessarily guarantee however, that the college will eventually expand Rally Dollar use to merchants other than those already planned for. “Who knows if it will expand to other merchants? It’s all going to be what the students want and what downtown wants,” Joanis said.
To allow Rally Dollar use in downtown locations the College is working with a company called DishOut LLC. According to a statement on the New York-based company’s website DishOut LLC “offers a variety of payment solutions to a number of markets including Higher Education, Hospitality/Lodging, Professional Sports, Retail and bar/Restaurant both directly and through our vast channel of Independent Sales Organizations.”

Joseph Galbreath, a junior who used to work at J’s BBQ, is enthusiastic about the plan, saying, “I think it’s really cool.” He does not however, think that the ability to use Rally Dollars at downtown businesses will actually increase the amount of students shopping downtown. “It’s still an issue of money,” he said, “if people have the money to go downtown they will, just putting it on rally dollars.”

Other students are unsure whether they would start using Rally Dollars instead of cash. “My experience with college students, and being one, is that you have grocery money and you have money for going out already kind of set aside, and even then it’s not a lot,” sophomore student Desiree Caswell said,“for me, personally, I wouldn’t compromise my laundry budget for going down to J’s when I could easily just pay with regular money.”

There is not yet a definite date as for when Rally Dollar use may actually be implemented downtown. “I’ve been trying to get it so that it will be up and running this semester but I’m not positive that will happen,” said Joanis