Meal exchanges between eating clubs are now fully electronic, and the days of carrying around those blue meal exchange slips are officially over.
Following the electronic meal exchange, the eating clubs will now be using the system for all exchanges. Specifically, all new inter-club meal exchanges must be made online, and the two halves of the exchange must be completed within 30 days of one another.
To complete a meal exchange, a student must first invite a friend on the meal exchange website. A barcode will then be sent via email to be scanned before eating at the club or in the dining halls.
For more details on meal exchanges, see here.
Hannah Paynter ’19, Interclub Council Chair and President of Cloister Inn, shares that the clubs are “excited to see the electronic system of interclub meal exchanges launch this semester.”
A fully electronic system brings several benefits over the old paper system. Paynter notes that “Princetonians will no longer have to worry about losing meal exchange cards and being billed.” Additionally, it is much easier for the eating clubs themselves to reliably keep track of exchanges and accurately impose fines.
The website, designed to be user-friendly and accessible via mobile, also allows people to invite friends to a meal anytime.
“I hope that the electronic system will encourage even more inter-club mingling and more exchanges between club members and those on residential college plans,” Paynter said.
Some other conveniences include a full 30 days to complete the exchange, whereas under the previous policy students were required to complete exchanges within the calendar month, and an environmentally friendly system.
The new platform has been well-received by students. Fritz Hillegas ’19, a member of Cap & Gown Club, thinks “that the electronic system makes the process of coordinating and keeping track of meal exchanges so much easier.” David Fan ’19, a member of Tower Club, agrees that having a fully electronic system “makes meal exchanging more simple.”
There are still a few minor kinks in the system. Hillegas recalls that “when I used it to meal exchange with a friend at Colonial, in order to get the right barcode to check in I had to invite my friend to a meal which seemed counterintuitive since we were eating at her club.” The system, as of Monday, stores both an eating club account and a Campus Dining account for those enrolled in a shared meal plan; it seems to automatically select the Campus Dining account when sending a request.
Fan also noted, “Sometimes the meal checker scans your barcode, but it’s not marked as complete on the dhall portal.”
While the system is not bug-free yet, it is being worked on to be as easy to use as possible. Paynter explained, “Campus Dining and the ICC are equipped to make the transition as smoothly as possible, and each club president is working closely with the ICC advisor for training and troubleshooting.”
The shift to the electronic exchange system will be finalized by the fall. The new platform should make meal exchanging run significantly smoother and encourage inter-club mingling.