- Student Life
By Mariah Castro. April 5, 2017 - 4:32 pm
Hawai’i Pacific University’s (HPU) off-campus meal program “Sharks Bucks” will affect upcoming dorm residents in fall 2017.
Sharks Bucks started in fall 2016 in place of an on-campus meal plan for residents of Aloha Tower Marketplace (ATM). Sharks Bucks allows students to use their student ID to buy meals or groceries at participating merchants.
Commuting students will also be able to get in on the meal program, with a starting rate of $500 and increments of $100 thereafter. Commuters will not receive the $100 credit that ATM residents will receive, but will benefit in other ways.
HPU’s Dean of Students and Title Nine Coordinator Marites Mckee stated that HPU is primarily a commuter campus and that students who do commute can still benefit from the meal program as she said, “Sometimes [students] might not be able to come for lunch, and so they can just go to Proof House or something and get a pizza and swipe.”
All merchants for Sharks Bucks are located in the downtown area between upper Fort Street and ATM, making it ideal for participating students to get a meal. Commuting from the Hawaii Loa campus, nursing student Leilani Tanahashi said, “If I forgot to bring a lunch or didn’t want to pack a lunch, I’m in downtown anyways, I can just get [food] whenever.”
Sharks Bucks was established in fall 2016, but has not been able to get off the ground. The meal program has had its fair share of problems including prolonged agreements from potential merchants. The student traffic towards current merchants has also been limited. According to General Manager of Honolulu Coffee, Catherine Bowery “You know not really, just a few, the handful of people who do come are students we know and there are probably about five of them that are regulars.”
Since the program started the ATM residents have not been forced to get into the program. But come the fall, an estimated 240 students will be enrolled in the meal program. Mckee explained, “We were really trying to push Aloha Tower residents because they didn’t have a meal plan and they were living on campus, so that was our primary goal.”
Current merchants include Downbeat Diner, Honolulu Coffee, Hooters, La Mision Taqueria, La Creperie, Long’s Drugs, Proof Public House, and Storto’s Deli and Sandwich Shoppe according to the HPU Sharks Bucks website.
The Sharks Bucks program is constantly taking recommendations on new merchants, if you have any recommendations or for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.