Monday, May 01, 2006

Checking Out

Boy, this brings back memories of standing in line at SIU’s check cashing windows in the Student Center. But that was back in the days when there were either no ATMs (when I started school there) or they were just beginning to appear (when I graduated).
The Student Center check cashing station is no longer accepting personal checks.

A sign has been posted for about three weeks telling students the check cashing station would no longer be accepting personal checks starting today.

Ken Jaros, assistant director of the Student Center, said many factors contributed to the decision to quit accepting personal checks at the cashing station.

One of the main reasons the Student Center is implementing the new policy is because too many students cash bad checks. He said this happens almost every year, and the Student Center has to make up for the loss it incurs by paying out of its own pocket.
I guess I’m kind of amazed the check cashing went on this long given how prevalent ATM cards are now.

But then there's this:
Eric Miller, a freshman from Springfield studying civil engineering, said his ATM card doesn't work anywhere in Carbondale. Because of this, he said the only way he can get money is through personal checks that he cashes at the Student Center. He said he was upset about the new policy and will have to figure out a new way to get money.

"I'll probably ride the bus to Wal-Mart to buy a pack of gum and request as much cash back as I can get," Miller said.
What ATM card can’t be used pretty much anywhere these days? Here’s a hint for Eric of Springfield: get an account at a Carbondale bank or switch banks here in Springfield so your ATM card does work. There’s no reason you can’t get your money from an ATM.

While a student at SIU I got my check cashing privileges revoked for a while when a “friend” wrote me a bad check and I cashed it at the check cashing station. Actually, I don’t even remember who it was that gave me the bad check but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t anyone who might be reading this now.

I got my first ATM card ever from a Carbondale bank while at SIU in about 1981. It was good in exactly two places in the world: the bank itself and a remote station in the SIU Student Center. But at the time it seemed like a great convenience. I couldn’t use it at stores or restaurants or out of town but I could always walk over to the bank’s drive-up ATM and get money.

I must say, it was funny sometimes to see that drive-up ATM. There would be a car at the machine and behind it someone on a bicycle and behind them someone standing in line (often me since I had neither a car nor a bicycle) followed by another car, etc.

At the time, all this was a great improvement over the then recent days when, if you didn’t plan ahead, you could find yourself out on a Friday night with no money and no way of getting more.
Today it's almost too easy to get cash. But then, who needs it anyway since your ATM card is also a debit card.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


This whole post brings back memories!

That drive through was interesting, because people would be lined up on bikes, on foot, and autos - which was a big no-no in the real world.

That and riding up to the Burger King on a bicycle, and ordering from the drive through was always fun too.