University of Rochester

Student Spending Off-Campus Is More Flexible, Takes on New Name

October 18, 2006

With the swipe of a card, students, faculty, and staff at the University of Rochester will be able to shop and dine off-campus this fall.

It's not like a typical credit card, though.

URos, the renamed flexible spending account that is pronounced like the European currency Euros, will launch in November at six businesses throughout Rochester.

Students, faculty and staff use the account as a cashless way to shop on campus. It is a separate from the student dining plan and is often used for purchases in the bookstores, the post office, and even laundry services. Now URos will be even more accommodating—students can use the card to dine off campus and buy everything from their favorite rice bowl at Aja Noodle to a basket of hot wings at The Distillery.

"One of the main reasons for taking URos off campus is to make it easier for students to experience the Rochester community," says Cam Schauf, Director of Campus Dining Services and Auxiliary Operations.

Last year, students were surveyed and asked to identify businesses in the community that would be of interest. Soon negotiations began with a group of more than 15 businesses. In November: Centerstage Café, 25 Gibbs St.; The Distillery, 1142 Mt. Hope Ave.; Pellegrino's, 1120 Mt. Hope Ave.; Aja Noodle, 2602 Elmwood Ave.; Mt. Hope Diner, 1511 Mt. Hope Ave.; and, Quiznos, 1286 Mt. Hope, will begin accepting URos.

Pending the success of the pilot program proposed for the 2006-2007 academic year, the program will likely expand to more local businesses.

URos use off campus will be managed by BbOne, a subsidiary of Blackboard Inc.