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OPINION: Bull Bucks should work like a credit card

The Bull Bucks system shouldn’t require money in advance, but it should allow students to credit charges to their USF accounts instead. ORACLE PHOTO/LEDA ALVIM

USF’s Bull Bucks system is the student commerce structure currently in place. Bull Bucks are electronically preloaded onto a student’s ID card through the USF website, according to its FAQ page.

The system operates like a debit card, requiring students and parents to upload money prior so they can use up to $1,000. Typically students use Bull Bucks to pay for food, printing and at select USF retail locations, according to the Bull Bucks website.

Instead of preloading Bull Bucks, students should be able to use them preemptively, billing their tuition and fees to pay off later when they have the money. This would help students who might not have the money to load their card upfront.

This system was created to limit the need of carrying cash on campus for students, and to provide an alternative to commercial bank cards, according to the website.

Bull Bucks are non-transferable, are limited to a spending balance of $600 daily and can only hold up to $1,000.

The biggest limitation placed on Bull Bucks users is that they require a cash balance loaded in advance, which is inconvenient for students who don’t have the money yet, or those who have to depend on their parents to reload the card.

Students would also avoid the inconvenience of running out of Bull Bucks without realizing it, leaving them without necessary resources like lunch or printing.

No student is allowed to graduate with an unpaid balance and students face financial holds or constraints when registering for the next semester if fees are unpaid, according to USF’s registrar website.

Students also can’t have their transcripts or diplomas released without paying the fees off.

This is known as a “BD” hold for debt owed. To lift this, students would have to contact Student Services for assistance. These measures are already in place, ensuring USF wouldn’t face a loss by implementing this new system.

Bettering the Bull Bucks system by altering it to operate under credit-based allowances would allow students to purchase necessary items without worrying about overdrafting their card, giving students more convenience and peace of mind when purchasing necessities.

If the purpose of the Bull Bucks system is to act as a convenient alternative to bank cards, USF should make them as convenient and stress-free as possible for students and parents.