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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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BG Charge may not be an option next year

Slide ID card, receive item, pay account at the end of the semester.

Seems like a simple process, but behind the scenes the bursar system isn’t so simple. That’s why the BG Charge may not be an existing process after this semester.

The University’s contract with the current system, Diebold Series 5, is up by July 1 and the University Committee has decided to change companies.

The University will use a company called Blackboard, which currently provides the internet course portal. Blackboard will soon host the campus meal plan payment options as well as other services.

This new system’s details, which may include scrapping the bursar option, are still up in the air, said Jeff Nelson, director of the University bookstore.

“All I can say for certain is no decision has been made,” Jeff Nelson said.

The new program could be a debit card plan which would mean students must put money into their account to use later. That would be very different from the current credit-based option, which allows students to bursar items and pay for them later.

Now that the Undergraduate Student Government and the Graduate Student Senate are aware of the change, the groups say they are taking every step they can to meet with the University Committee within the coming weeks to discuss the matter.

“Students will have a say,” said Nancy Colsman, of the Bursar’s Office.

Despite some students’ negative reactions to the idea, Colsman believes this new system will benefit students in a couple of ways.

“People are starting to bursar things they can’t afford,” she said, explaining that at the end of the semester, many students accounts must be frozen because they can’t pay their bills.

This debit-card system will prevent students from over-charging, Colsman said.

However, not all students think that it’s up to the University to handle this problem.

“I don’t think everyone else should suffer because a person can’t afford what they’re purchasing,” said junior Divia Nelson, who added that she believes students need to learn on their own how to safely spend their money.

Students like Divia Nelson may also be concerned with how they are going to afford books that they previously would bursar.

“I bursar my books and any other little gadgets that are needed for the class,” Divia Nelson said. She added that she gets her books before her first class and may not have enough money to put in her account beforehand.

However, the University Committee is considering issues like these, Jeff Nelson said.

“There has been an ongoing discussion about the types of credit-based charges which are billed through the Bursar’s Office and how these could be affected by the new system,” he said.

Another issue with the current system is the way student organizations use bursar for fund raisers. Colsman said it takes student groups a lot of time and tedious work to keep bursar records. Sometimes student groups cannot collect all the money they raise because some bursar bills are not paid.

“With the debit card way, student organizations’ treasurers and other involved individuals will not have to do all the bookkeeping necessary to maintain the current system of ‘bursarables,'” Colsman said. “The organization will receive their entitled fund raising monies with the assurance that the money is there, and they will get it.”

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