by DYLAN NADLER
Students can donate their leftover flex dollars to help other students in upcoming semesters through the Pay it Forward program. Forms, which are due April 15, are located on the fourth floor of the University Center to place an order for the Eagle Resource Closet, which will be renamed the Gwen Hale Resource Center.
“The Pay it Forward program gives students an opportunity to use their unspent Flex dollars to provide specific items badly needed by the Eagle Resource Closet,” said Rose Benedict, the UMW Dining marketing manager. “The ERC provides food and personal care items to University of Mary Washington students experiencing serious financial problems and/or food insecurity.”
Some of these items include deodorant, toilet paper, mouth wash, snacks, fruit, canned meats, laundry detergent and more.
“The Eagle Resource closet has a continuing need for food, clothing and personal care items to assist students,” said Benedict.
Students who want to take part in the Pay it Forward program can pick and choose the items they wish to donate to the Eagle Resource Closet from an order list.
“University Dining will then purchase the selected items and deliver them to the ERC sometime around the end of the spring semester,” said Benedict.
Junior history major and Eagle Resource Closet Coordinator Taylor Coleman encourages students to use the Pay it Forward program.
“Students should donate that extra flex because if you don’t use it, it just disappears and there’s no use for it,” said Coleman. “So, if you know you’re gonna have extra Flex, why not let it go to someone who could actually use it.”
Senior English major Quinn Burgard will most likely be donating her extra flex to the Pay it Forward program.
“I think that it makes the most sense since it’s not like I can get any of my money back,” said Burgard. “It’s nice knowing that my leftover money will help someone else, so it’s hard to complain about something when it’s going to a good cause.”
Coleman said it’s unfair that students can’t pocket their own leftover flex or even have it carry over to future semesters.
“You pay for this dining money and the fact that it doesn’t carry over to upcoming semesters, especially if you’re a freshman or something, kind of sucks,” said Coleman. “It doesn’t carry over and then you have to buy a new meal plan. So yeah, I do think it is quite unfair.”