Denise Fedorow
Freelance Writer
September 20, 2022 // Diocese

Notre Dame Campus Goes Cashless

Denise Fedorow
Freelance Writer

If you have plans to visit Notre Dame Campus, you can leave your cash at home as the campus transitioned to a “cashless retail environment” as of Aug. 1.  According to a news release, they made the change “in an effort to maintain a healthy and more efficient campus.”

Though it is not 100 percent cashless, the change does include transactions at Notre Dame food service locations, dining halls, concession stands, and St. Michael’s laundry … as well as dining services at Saint Mary’s college and Holy Cross College where the university manages operations. Kiosks have been installed in Duncan and LaFortune student centers where cash can be transferred to a Visa gift card for those who do not have a debit or credit card. The Visa gift card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted on or off campus at no additional charge.

University officials claim the cashless environment will bring “various improvements” including faster transactions than a cash exchange, the elimination of potential health concerns with less cash repeatedly changing hands, and the safety of not having large amounts of cash in registers or transported across campus for deposit.

The “Strong & True” 2021 football shirt design hung on a banner outside of Hammes Notre Dame bookstore last summer. The bookstore is one of a few places that will still accept cash as the university transitioned to a cashless campus.

Rich Bellis, Associate Vice President for Finance and Treasury Services said in the news release, “I am excited for this move to a cashless campus as transactions will be faster, saving time for both staff and visitors alike. Going cashless will eliminate security risks associated with transporting cash and will reduce end-of-day reconciliation for our employees.”

Bellis added, “I am grateful to our team and campus partners for working together to implement this transition where possible.”

There will be some places where cash will still be accepted, including The Morris Inn, Rohr’s, the Hammes Notre Dame bookstore, the Notre Dame Wellness Center, the U.S. Post Office, vending machines, and privately operated businesses in LaFortune such as FedEx, the hair salon, barber shop, floral shop, and 1st Source Bank. 

Cash donations will still be accepted at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and The Grotto, along with fundraising and donation events and residence halls food sales.

Visitor and Student Response

Toni Bonacorsi, a regular Notre Dame game attendee with her husband Lou, said she didn’t know they had gone cashless, but said she could see where it’d be good for “major games and big events like at Notre Dame.” She said there are definitely places for having cashless and it’s “probably becoming more the norm than not—it’s probably the way things are going.”

She added that if that’s the case, then younger people won’t learn how to use cash and not using cash does lead to the temptation of spending more.

Claire Cataldo, a junior at Notre Dame, said, “The change hasn’t affected me at all.”  She added that she and most other Notre Dame students either show their student ID to use their meal plan and ‘flex points’ or use a debit card. “I don’t spend money out of my account on campus—I use my student ID to get coffee or food.”

Cataldo said she checked with some other students about it and they felt the same as she did about it. Claire said she honestly didn’t realize it had gone cashless. “I read it in an email but forgot about it, that’s how unaffected I am,” she said and added it started during COVID when they were using the Grubhub app to get food. She said flex points were part of the student meal plan, but could also be used elsewhere.

The Notre Dame news release stated that cash has been used less frequently on campus throughout the past few years because of measures already taken by several departments. University athletic contests have successfully operated as cashless environments since the fall of 2021, including parking for games and concerts, and food retail locations have operated electronically through Grubhub.

Faculty, staff, and students can continue to add funds to Irish1Cards for use in the dining halls. The change is also affecting the number of Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) on campus. ATMs will continue to be available in the two student centers.

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