Shared Dining Funds Program “YU Cares” Collects From Over 100 Students
Towards the end of the Spring 2018 semester, YU launched a new charity program called YU Cares. The fundamentals of the program were simple — students were able to donate up to $50 of leftover funds from their meal plans to an account which would allocate the funds to students in need of money for meals.
According to Dean of Students Chaim Nissel, who oversees the program, funds were collected from over 100 students and were distributed to 26 students “who were in need.” Dean Nissel added, “Based on the feedback from the program, YU Cares will continue this semester as well.”
Under YU policy, meal plans are non-transferable, non-refundable and there is a daily limit of $100 per student account and a maximum purchase of six of the same item. The Dining Services website states, “Recent interpretations of NY State Tax law do not permit the use of tax exempt meal plan funds for [large] purchases.” The Dining Services website further enumerates that refunding leftover funds would void the sales tax exemption. Dean Nissel did not offer comment regarding the legality of the program with respect to New York law.
Other universities which provide meals on a swipe-based system participate in a program called “Share Meals,” which allows students to meet up to share extra swipes.
The combination of these policies often leaves students with excess money on their Caf Card which will expire at the end of the year. To help use up these funds, the YU Cares program was introduced, which allowed the funds to be donated to needy students.
“It sounded like a good initiative and I hope they continue it for the end of this semester,” remarked Phillip Nagler (YC '20)
Photo Caption: The Furman Dining Hall on the Wilf Campus
Photo Credit: The Commentator