Imagine, if you will, that it’s a Friday night on the isolated campus of St. Olaf. You and your buds have been hanging out for the last few hours and, surprise surprise, you’re all feeling a bit hungry. Not wanting to wait for Dominos to slowly roll on up to campus with your order, you all decide to head down to the only practical location to go for late night pizza: the Pause. Once you’ve arrived, though, you encounter a significant problem. No one has any cash! Unfortunately, most of you only have credit cards, and the one person with a debit card reports that, yet again, the ATM needs maintenance. Dejected, you and your friends begin the slow shuffle back to the dorms, pausing to order Dominos on the way.
“I am a frequent connoisseur of Pause pizza and shakes and the student workers do a great job. It is simply unfortunate that the only real student-run campus business has become so inaccessible to the very students it serves.” – Benjamin Searcy-Jorgensen ’21
While this exact scenario may or may not be inspired by true events, I’m sure most can relate to one, if not multiple, parts of this tale. Something that could offer a solution to this story is the wonderful invention of card readers. That’s right, these incredible inventions have been around for years and are almost directly designed for small businesses like the Pause. The Pause has yet to adapt to student needs, and risks losing profit and connection to students, especially as the utility of cash decreases.
With the rise of delivery apps like Grubhub, it is only a matter of time until there are more food options for students. If the Pause doesn’t get with the times, it may find itself obsolete.
In addition to being more accessible to students, allowing the use of credit cards could help the Pause with other issues, like one they are currently experiencing. As recently reported in the Manitou Messenger, $1,000 in Pause cash was recently discovered to be missing from interim delivery jobs. It is likely such an issue would not occur had the money been received through card.
All of this being said, I would like to say I am a frequent connoisseur of Pause pizza and shakes, and the student workers do a great job. It is simply unfortunate that the only real student-run campus business has become so inaccessible to the very students it serves.
Benjamin Searcy-Jorgensen ’21 (firstname.lastname@example.org) is from Moscow, Idaho. He majors in Biology and Sociology/Anthropology.