Alaaeldin Aamer, owner and operator of Alaaeldin’s Egyptian Food stand on the first floor in the PUB, may soon expand his business with an EagleFlex card machine that will allow students to pay for gyros with their Eagle card.
The stand, which has been in operation since 1983, sells a combination of Egyptian sandwiches and desserts that currently may only be purchased by cash or credit card.
A gyro is a sandwich that consists of meat, vegetables and various sauces rolled between two flat pieces of pita bread. Baklava, a sweet desert made of layers of filo dough filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey, is also offered.
Aamer, a EWU student alumnus, knows what it is like to be dependent on campus food. He said, “Because I was a student, I would have no money to eat [elsewhere] sometimes.”
Grace Cooper, a Morrison Hall community assistant, said, “All students that live on campus use the Eagle card as their primary source of food money. The majority of people that eat on campus happen to live on campus.” Aamer also said, “Sometimes students say that they do not have the cash and would like to use the flex.” He argued that his gyro stand is not just a business, but a community service. Aamer says that his main priority is to “help students in any way that he can,” and that an Eagle card machine would give students access to more of a variety of foods.
“It’s definitely my favorite place to eat on campus,” senior Rishi Saez said. “If he’s closed when I get out of class, I’ll usually just wait till I get home to eat dinner.”
A student journalist conducted a survey in various EWU residence halls, asking students whether they would rather have an EagleFlex card machine available at the PUB Thomas Hammer Coffee stand or Alaaeldin’s Egyptian Food stand. Out of 70 students, 50 people, or 73 percent, said that they would rather have an EagleFlex machine at Alaaeldin’s Egyptian Food.
“I think he deserves the same chance as any other business on campus to expand the number of customers he gets by using an Eagle card machine,” junior Sage Bilderback said.
According to the EWU EagleFlex Operating Agreement for Merchant Dial-Up Program, merchants that seek to own and operate an EagleFlex card machine must first sign and agree with EWU contractual terms and be approved by EWU Purchasing.
According to this agreement, “Merchants shall be responsible for costs associated with equipment and installation required for participation in the EagleFlex program.” Merchants must also “agree to pay the Eagle card office a “Commission Fee of 5.0 percent of gross EagleFlex purchases.”
Director of Dining Services David Mckay said, “We would love to see him with an EagleFlex card machine. He’s got a great little product that adds a great ethnic vibe to the PUB.” With the addition of Flex, Aamer’s stand will serve more students and help ensure that everyone can enjoy gyros for years to come.