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Board Plus v. Crimson Cash

What makes having money so appealing? For us, it’s being able to exchange it for goods and services (basic economics, you aspiring Ec concentrator). Don’t you love that? Well, wouldn’t you hate it if someone took your precious money and converted them it gift cards for places you never went to? Damn. Having $50 is great. You know what would be even better? Having $50 that I can only spend at a Long John Silver’s. Hell yeah. Well, Harvard did that. Twice. Why? Because you won’t complain about it outside of the line at Quincy Grille. For those of you uninformed about what Board Plus and Crimson Cash are, congratulations. Ignorance is bliss.

Board Plus is money that Harvard quietly added onto from your term-bill and converted into a useless gift card to 0.3/5 Zagat reviewed grills based in the basements of Dunster and Eliot house, the first floor of Quincy, and the Quad Grille. You know...because everyone passes through the basement of houses they don’t live in all the time. Feeling like a Felipe’s run? Useless. Hungry between 7-10pm? Useless. Trying to eat a nutritious meal that won’t instantaneously cause your face to break out? Useless. But, for those late-night cravings for the famous mozz sticks (that are really only good when you’re #shwasted) and those times you just really need that caramel macchiato at Lamont, those sweet $65 each term on your Harvard ID come in clutch. 

This “free” money also works at the CGIS cafe (smoothies and sandwiches) and the Barker Center Café (sandwiches and coffee). It does not, however, work at Clover, which is conveniently located inside the Science Center. That’s right: even if you’re craving some healthy protein-packed chickpeas or their café au lait, you’re fucked, and have to pay out of pocket instead. Thanks, Harvard.

Crimson Cash is like Board Plus, but somehow even more idiotic. Imagine Board Plus, except it’s your own money and you can only use it at vending and laundry machines. Whoever pitched Crimson Cash to admin was probably high and named Bernie Madoff. Dollars? Overrated. Plastic cards with no function other than to buy overpriced Milky Ways in the basements of Emerson and Sever? FREAKIN’ GENIUS. Crimson Cash is useless, if you’re okay with never doing your laundry yourself. Yeah, you say you’ll never use it now, but the day you run out of underwear, you’re going to have to load that baby up at a minimum of $20. 

Our solution? Get rid of both. Actually, screw it. Make a third currency called “Mankiw Money.” You’ll get an additional $140 tacked onto your term-bill, and the currency can only be used to donate to the Ec department’s endowment. You know... because you were already going to do that anyway.

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Francesca Malatesta,  Editor in Chief
Jessica Luo, Publishing Director