Students on Princeton’s unlimited dining plan now have five new restaurants they can eat out at using the dining points established in an Undergraduate Student Government (USG) initiative at the start of the 2022–23 academic year: Chennai Chimney, Greek Bites, Junbi, Lan Ramen, and Thomas Sweet.
Greek Bites and Lan Ramen have been listed as Pay with Points locations on the TigerCard website as early as Monday, Nov. 7 and were officially announced as partners in a USG email to undergraduates on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Chennai Chimney, Junbi, and Thomas Sweet appeared on the list as early as Sunday, Nov. 13 and were officially announced via a Monday, Nov. 14 email.
This brings the total number of participating non-University-affiliated dining locations to eleven, as students have been able to spend dining points at Café 701, Jammin’ Crepes, Proof Pizzeria, Small World Coffee, Say Cheez Café, and The Bent Spoon since the start of the semester.
With the doubling of the number of participating locations and more on the way, those spearheading the project look to establish Pay with Points as something both shaped by and strengthening the community on campus.
“The idea is that we want to get fifteen restaurants by the end of the semester,” said Community Dining Task Force Chair Stephen Daniels ’24 in an interview with The Daily Princetonian, meaning that students can expect five additional restaurants to be added in the next few weeks.
Daniels also noted that administrators and student representatives working on the Pay with Points program plan to implement new feedback mechanisms soon, including focus groups. He noted that the program’s team has “been relying on student feedback” in tailoring the initiative thus far, and students should “look out for opportunities” to voice their opinions on the program.
Students can sign up for a focus group via a link in the aforementioned Nov. 9 email.
Daniels told the ‘Prince’ that the Pay with Points team has already sent out a feedback survey to the Scholars Institute Fellows Program (SIFP) community since the USG-led program has potential to significantly benefit the first-generation, low-income (FGLI) students that SIFP serves.
Daniels repeatedly emphasized the Pay with Points program’s potential to foster community engagement and connections, recounting conversations with students who’ve used dining points to grab coffee together or eat out in celebration of a friend’s birthday.
He also noted the increased variety in dining options with the latest additions to the program, with options from Chennai Chimney, an Indian restaurant on Chambers Street that he described as “more of a sit-down” restaurant that serves full meals, to Thomas Sweet, an ice cream option near the current E-Quad.
Lan Ramen, which is located on Hulfish Street, provides a similar sit-down experience. Greek Bites, located inside the Chase Bank building on Nassau Street, is a recently-renovated offshoot of Local Greek — a restaurant in the town of Princeton further from campus.
Junbi, the fifth newly participating business, is known for its matcha and boba tea options, and has been frequently mentioned by students as a desired Pay with Points location, including in a USG feedback session and in recent ‘Prince’ coverage.
Daniels also acknowledged that some upperclass students have expressed interest in being included in the program, especially considering the experiences many of them lost in their early years at Princeton due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
More broadly, he encouraged students to continue voicing their opinions about Pay with Points as the program expands. “We’re always listening to student feedback,” he said.
Annie Rupertus is a sophomore from Philadelphia, an assistant Data editor, and a staff News writer who covers USG for the ‘Prince.’ Please direct any corrections requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.