Frequently Asked Questions

SUNYCard:

My card is lost/stolen. How do I deactivate it?
You are responsible for ensuring that your card is secure. If it is lost or stolen, report it right away. Go online to deactivate your card to protect your account. You may also call the SUNYCard Office during regular business hours at 518-442-5989 (8:30 AM - 4:30 PM, Monday - Friday), or contact the University Police Department on nights and weekends to deactivate your account.

Where can I use my SUNYCard?
Many places on and off campus:

  • Door access - especially if you live on campus
  • All Dining locations on uptown and downtown campuses
  • The University Bookstore
  • Copiers/printing in University libraries
  • Vending machines and Shop24
  • Off Podium locations
  • CDTA and UAlbany buses

Why charge $20 for a lost SUNYCard that is not really lost? I paid for a replacement card and then found my card within a day or two.
When a card is reported lost, that card is deactivated and given a new MAG stripe number (ID #). This change helps with theft and fraud prevention. Once the old number is deactivated, a brand new one is processed and, for your protection, the old one can no longer be used.

If you happen to find your SUNYCard and you are sure no one has used it, you can go online and reactivate you card without going to the SUNYCard office and paying the fee.

Dining & Meal Plans:

I changed my meal plan, how do I get the difference in price back?
The adjustments are posted to student's accounts each week- review your account on MyUAlbany and contact the Student Accounts Office directly to request that credit be sent to your home address.

Can I change my meal plan once the semester has begun?
You have the option of changing your meal plan up to the 10th day after the start of Meal Plans for the semester.

What is a Meal Trade?
A Meal Trade allows you to "trade" a meal from your meal plan to purchase a combo meal at Campus Center dining locations and late night take out in residential dining rooms.  For a listing of specific Meal Trades and locations, please visit the Meal Trade web page.

If I have meals left on my meal plan at the end of the semester, do they carry over to the next semester?
No, unused meals do not carry over, but Munch Money does carry over for one academic year (summer-spring semester), as long as you are an enrolled student. NYS tax laws do not allow tax-exempt meal plan money to carry over year to year.

Why are meals plans mandatory?
The University has mandated meal plans for residential students as a way of protecting the students. Residential housing does not have adequate cooking equipment/storage to insure a safe environment for food preparation and waste removal. The University is also concerned that students with limited financial means would have to choose between food and other expenses.

When can I use my meal plan for Meal Trades in the campus center?
Meal Trades are available during hours of operation in the Campus Center Food Court, see the Meal Trades web page for more information. Please note that the

Can students take food out?
If a student is ill and not able to eat in the dining hall, arrangements can be made for a take-out meal by calling the quad room hall manager, see Sick Meals. Alumni Quad Dining Room also offers 'to-go' meals.

Can we have more multicultural items - Brazilian food, Indian food, etc. - more often?
We encourage students to tell us specific items they would like added to the menu. Please email your suggestions to the UAS Associate Executive Director, Karen Kettlewell.

What happens to unused food?  Is it thrown out?
Due to health regulations, unused food is thrown out. There are strategies in place, however, to help decrease the amount of waste. Food is cooked in batches based on customer trends. This also helps in maintenance of freshness & quality. In addition, a composting program was started on Indian Quad in January, 2013, that successfully composts food scraps, paper products, biodegradable plastic bags and cardboard.  The composting program will continue at Indian Quad through May 2014, at which time we plan to roll it our to other dining rooms and eventually campus wide.

Can you eliminate burgers and fries and serve healthier options?
Turkey and veggie burgers are made to order at all grill stations. In addition, healthy entree, salad, sandwich, dessert and vegetarian options are available at all dining locations. If you have suggestions for healthy options, please email them to us.

Can we donate our meal swipes to support natural disaster relief efforts?
NY State tax laws do not allow donation of meal swipes to another individual, even for relief efforts.

How do we address rude staff members?
Inform management immediately if that occurs, you can tell a manager directly or send an email to dining@albany.edu . It is helpful if you can provide the manager with the name of the staff member, all employees should be wearing a name tag.

Can you buy food products from local farmers?
UAlbany Dining purchases more than $300,000 worth of food from local farmers.

How do you accommodate Muslim students during the month of Ramadan?
Muslim students observing the fast of Ramadan can contact their dining hall manager and pick up a per-packaged breakfast the night before, so that they can eat before sunrise.

What happens to my unused Munch Money at the end of the semester?
Munch Money does carry over for one academic year (summer-spring semester), as long as you are an enrolled student. NYS tax laws do not allow tax-exempt meal plan money to carry over year to year.

Munch Money:

What do I do if my Munch Money runs low?
 You can add Munch Money at any time online.

Can Munch Money be used at the bookstore?
No, Munch Money is part of the meal plan and can only be used to purchase food and beverages. Podium can be used in the bookstore.

Where can I find my Munch Money?
To check balances:

  • Online: For balance info and statements, online.  
  • The SUNYCard Office: Balances cannot be given over the phone for security reasons, but we are happy to help you whenever you stop in (Campus Center B52).

Podium:

Where can I find my Podium balance?
To check the balance:

  • Online: For balance info and statements, check online 
  • Library Value Adding Stations & Copier Readers: Show Podium balances only
  • The SUNYCard Office: Balances cannot be given over the phone for security reasons, but we are happy to help you whenever you stop in (Campus Center B52)

Does my podium balance expire or can I get a refund?

  • Podium balances remain on your SUNYCard while you are a current student or active employee. New deposits will be added to your existing balance.
  • Balances cannot be transferred to other people or fund accounts (e.g. Munch Money, Faculty/Staff Dining Plan).
  • If you are officially leaving the University, you can request a Podium refund up to six (6) months after graduating, withdrawing, or ending employment at the University. Your refund is subject to a $5 processing fee.
  • If you officially leave the University without requesting a refund of your unused Podium balance, you will be charged a monthly inactivity fee of $20 starting with the seventh (7th) month of successive inactivity. That fee will be deducted from the value of your unused portion prior to issuing any refund. The amount of any monthly inactivity fees is not refundable in whole or in part and will not be restored to you even if you later request a refund of your unused portion. Your refund is subject to a $5 processing fee.
  • Remaining Podium balances for students or employees who have been inactive for three (3) consecutive years will be forfeited. To request a refund, visit the SUNYCard Office (Campus Center B-52). UAS will mail a refund check to your home address.

Nutritional Services:

What nutritional services are available to me on campus?
UAlbany Dining has a registered dietitian on campus who can assist you with nutritional decisions and issues. For an appointment, please contact Donna Duffy, at (518) 469-4571 or send an email to nutritionalservices@albany.edu.

Vending:

When can I use Podium and Munch Money in the vending machines?
Both Podium and Munch Money can be used in the vending machines 24/7.  The system will first look for Munch Money, if you do not have Munch Money it will then look for Podium and Campus Gold.

If you have rollover Munch Money from a previous semester, only that balance will display when you use your card at registers and vending machines, until the rollover is exhausted. 

I have lost money in vending machines, and when I call the number I get a recording. How can I get my money back?
For beverages, please contact Coca-Cola Service at 888-361-9074
For snack and Shop24 items, please contact Next Generation Vending at 877-644-8363


Laundry:

What do I do if I have a problem with a washing machine or dryer?
Please call 1-800-MAC-GRAY
Provide the following information:

  • Quad name or location
  • Building name
  • Machine number
  • What's wrong with the machine