Auxiliary Services at UNC Charlotte

Auxiliary Services at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte provides the essential services the campus community needs. This department manages parking, dining, mail and package services, printing, student IDs and so much more.

My role with the Auxiliary Services team has been to create multimedia content to educate students, faculty, staff, and visitors in an entertaining and informative manner about all the offerings at the university. 


  • Dear #UNCC18: Five things I wish I had known sooner. 
    • Published Originally on June 11th, 2014. 

As the great Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Four years and a bachelor’s degree later I have found this to be absolutely true. One moment I was checking into Wallis Hall for SOAR and the next, listening for my name to walk across that stage.

Now I have begun my graduate school journey at UNC Charlotte and am working as a Marketing Communications Intern for Business and Auxiliary Services. In just the first week I have learned things that I wish I had known as an undergraduate. There were services I missed; little things that would have been good to know! So, please let me spare you this regret. While maybe not as profound as Obi Wan Kenobi bestowing knowledge of the Force upon Luke Skywalker, I do hope you'll find the following tips helpful.

Tip #1. Oh hey, ODA!

I would always see signs and a few things that would mention the term ODA but really had no idea what it meant. ODA means “Optional Dining Account” and it’s like a prepaid account for food. You (or someone who is benevolently subsiding your education) can place a deposit in this account for you to use at any campus dining location. Here's why it's awesome: this is a great account for students who commute and can't bear the thought of giving up their parking space to go get a meal, and for those whose class schedule is such that they eat on campus a just a few times a week. Anything you don't spend from you ODA account rolls over to subsequent semesters, as long as you're enrolled.

ODA is also great for on-campus residents. If/when the declining balance (DB) portion of your meal plan runs out (this happened to me many times) ODA can supplement your meal plan. How cool is that?! You wont' be deprived of enjoying Chick-fil-A, Bojangle's or Salsarita's goodness.  And for deposits of $300 or $500, you’ll receive some free meal swipes good at Crown Commons and the brand new SoVi at South Village Crossing. But wait! There’s more! You will also get GreenBack reward dollars for every $100 you add to ODA. Smaller amounts can be deposited to ODA also, as little as $10.

Tip #2 “Hey Mom and Dad, I am kinda low on…”

What happens when you run out of money when you're down to your last pair of clean underwear or have a 20 page paper to print? That's when the 49er Account is your friend. Money can be deposited on your 49er Account (which, like ODA and your meal plan, resides on the 49er IDCard) to spend like a pre-paid debit account for campus goods and services such as: pay-for-print printers in the library and labs, laundry machines, Barnes & Noble at UNC Charlotte bookstore, vending machines, Campus Salon, NinerTech store, all the dining locations, convenience stores and concessions. 49er Account offers instant online deposits, and is good for budgeting since the account can't be overdrawn, doesn't incur fees and doesn't expire. You can deposit money on your account in increments as small as $5. Your parents/ benevolent supporters can add money to the account, too. All that's needed is your 800 number and last name when they go to make a deposit online. (

Tip #3 -  “Here’s the mail, it never fails…”

Usually during your time at UNC Charlotte moving becomes an annual event. Whether it's from one residence hall to another, from on-campus to on-campus, or off-campus to somewhere else off-campus, your address will change again and again! But did you know that you can maintain a consistent mailing address with a campus mail box from Mail and Package Services? You can! Campus mailboxes are private and conveniently located in either Prospector building or the Student Union. And they're cheap: a 6 Month lease is $25 total; a 12 Month lease is only $46. Even better, here's a coupon for $10 off your first lease.

Tip #4 - “Take a’s in a book…”

I love books and even more so bookstores. What was that? Oh, what’s a book? Well kids, long ago we needed to read bound papers of information; sometimes we even read them for fun! Now that you're in college, you are going to get very acquainted with textbooks. Trust me on this, you'll need them and it will save you a lot of time and angst if you get them before classes start.

Barnes and Noble at UNC Charlotte is the official campus bookstore and located in the Student Union. You can conveniently order your books online, automatically choosing from your class schedule in 49er Express. The selection of 49er gear is the largest anywhere, so maybe even add some 49er apparel to that virtual sharing cart. One thing about the bookstore that many students don’t know is that Barnes and Noble will 100% price match textbooks to other local retailers. This can add to your savings and makes a convenient central location for you to purchase or rent your books. There are also eBook options.

Tip #5 -  Forward to the Future!

You have so much to look forward to. The campus is growing at a rapid pace and one of the most exciting areas of growth is on the South side where the new South Village Crossing opens this fall. This amazing new dining/gathering complex is going to offer all kinds of food. SoVi dining will feature:

  • an Asian station with a Teppanyaki grill (Japanese-style iron griddle),
  • a Euro station with two Evo grills (round cook tops that offer a healthy cooking method and social interaction with the chef),
  • an Italian area that will serve pasta, pizza and other favorites from two gas-fired ovens,
  • a deli with hearth oven for toasted sandwiches and melts,
  • an extensive salad bar where proteins can be ordered custom made and sizzling hot to top your leafy greens, and
  • more choices than ever available for vegans, vegetarians and those with certain dietary preferences

SoVi will also have plentiful seating, and a seasonal dining terrace that will overlook Davis Lake. On the upper level you'll find:i

  • SoVi2Go - a take-out area where meal swipes can be used for carry-out dining
  • a bakery with visible operations and a confections counter
  • "The Den," a a concept by Denny's with late night service
  • comfortable student lounges with three-sided fireplaces and big TV screens
  • a multi-use meeting/class room with AV

Plan to explore this beautiful new facility no matter where you are on campus! You can get a ride over to South Village on the CATS Campus Shuttle, or later in the evening, SafeRide can transport you there if you don't want to walk. (I'm glad I'm sticking around here for grad school so I can enjoy it!)

So please, future 49ers, know what's available and fully use the services that are provided for you. It's stuff you need that supports the bigger purpose of why you're here: to get an education and prepare for your future.

And, as John Keating said in Dead Poets Society, "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary."

– Patrick Wisniewski

  • Resolve this New Year to give blood at the upcoming 49ers 4 Life Blood Drive. 
    • Originally Published on December 11th, 2014.

It has been a very long time since I have given blood. 

  • The first time I gave blood was in high school back in 2010. I was very nervous and did not really know much about the process. I signed up at the last minute and away I went. In the gym I read the requirements and prepared to donate for the first time. What I didn’t know was that I should have eaten breakfast before donating. 

    To quote the everlasting exclamation of the valiant Scoobert Doo, “Ruh Roh Raggy!"

    I was doing pretty well and everything was fine... until I blacked out. My memories of waking up afterwards were as jumbled as Leonard’s in Memento. What I do remember is waking up to a fan blowing in my face, my friend Matthew asking if I was OK, and the nurse pouring Coca-Cola in my mouth to raise my sugar levels (which I am not complaining about, Coke is awesome). 

    You are probably thinking two things right now: Did he really make a Memento reference? Why is he telling me this awful story? This makes me not want to give blood. 

    I have two responses: 

  • Yes. I did. 
  • Don’t be scared. 
  • The reason I am admitting to passing out is to let you know that sometimes the unexpected happens, but it’s no big deal. Even you laughing at me isn’t too bad. Hey, I WAS THE TALK OF THE GYMNASIUM AND GOT FREE SODA! I pushed through my squeamishness to save three lives. That’s what is most important. I overcame my fear and did something bigger than me. I even played a full game of rugby later on that day. 

    After that I donated a few times at an American Red Cross center with intentions to continue, however, I did not keep that pledge. College got busy, work got busy, life got busy. Time just drifted away from me. But now I’m reminded reminded of how important blood donation is. 

    Auxiliary Services is a sponsor for the 49ers4Life campus-wide blood drive and, as the intern who produces Aux video content, I’m creating spots for the drive. I would love it if my work would help convince others to come out and donate as well. So, of course, I am starting with me. I’ve signed up to donate on January 20. Will you please consider joining me? 

    Why should you donate? There are many reasons but here are a few: 

  • Blood can’t be made. It can only be given. 
  • You are helping people who really need it. Cancer patients, premature babies, and car crash victims are only a few of the people who benefit from blood donation. 
  • You can save lives by just sitting down and giving a small part of your time and self. 
  • This drive is special because students, faculty, and staff come together as a community — One Niner Nation — to do something extraordinary for others. 
  • The 6th Annual 49ers4Life campus-wide blood drive will take place in the Student Activities Center on Tuesday, January 20 from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. To register, go to and search for the drive using the code: “49ers4life.” I hope to see you there! 

    — Patrick Wisniewski