Finals Mania has been a popular tradition here at the University of Houston ever since the first one was held in 2008.
The twice-a-year tradition, which takes place at the end of the fall and spring semesters, provides weary students a much-needed break from studying for final exams.
More than 1,500 students are expected to attend this semester's event, which will take place Monday, Dec. 4, from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. in the Rockwell Pavilion at the M.D. Anderson Library.
The highlight of the evening is the food. Students usually start lining up at least an hour ahead of time for the chance to be one of the first to go through the serving line to receive a free plate of pancakes and sausage, and for coffee or orange juice to wash it all down. The line of hungry and patient students snakes around the ground floor of the library.
Why wait in the line?
This year, however, some lucky students will get a chance to bypass that line and go straight to the front as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the Boost mobile ordering app, which is one piece of a larger overall strategy by Auxiliary Services and Dining Services to reduce wait times at the various campus dining locations.
We are giving everyone who downloads the app to their Apple or Android smart phone and sets up an account between Monday, Nov. 27, and Sunday, Dec. 3, the opportunity to have their names added to a special VIP list.
If you are on the list and you come to Finals Mania that night, you will be escorted to the front of the serving line. Can't beat that!
So what is Boost?
The way Boost works is simple. Students, faculty and staff who download it for free on their Apple and Android smart phones can use it to order and pay for food in advance at many of the retail dining locations across campus.
That list currently includes Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Taco Bell in the Student Center Satellite; Subway in University Lofts; Einstein Bros. Bagels in Phillip Guthrie Hoffman Hall; Starbucks in Melcher Hall; Panda Express, Starbucks and Freshii in the Student Center; and Taco Cabana in the Stadium Garage. And more locations will be added in the future!
When you order your food, you select the time you want to pick it up. Each participating location on campus has a designated Boost pickup area. You just walk up and get your food, which has already been paid for through the app. No more waiting in line!
What you need to do
If you do not already have Boost, here's what you should do:
Depending on what type of smart phone you have, download either the Android or Apple version.
After it is downloaded, set up an account through the app.
When setting up your account, make sure to select the University of Houston as your location.
Add a payment option, such as a credit card. If you have a UH meal plan that has Cougar Cash, you can use that as your payment option by entering your PSID number.
If you complete the process during the special promotional period (Nov. 27-Dec. 3) we will have your name and will add it to the Finals Mania VIP list. We will send you an email with directions on where the VIP entrance is located. Just make sure to bring your Cougar Card ID with you. You will need it to get in!