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Lawsuit Challenges Mandatory Campus Debit Accounts

Students have filed a series of lawsuits claiming that three Alabama state universities violate the state constitution by forcing students to fund declining balance accounts that can only be used at a limited number of outlets, reports the Tuscaloosa News. The nearly identical suits, brought by lawyers David Vanderberg and Elizabeth Beene in Jefferson County Court on behalf of students at the University of Alabama, Auburn University and the University of Alabama-Birmingham, charge that forcing students to fund such accounts takes away freedom of choice and makes each university a "market participant in the food service market" in violation of the state constitution. Also named in the suits are the contract management companies that operate dining services at the three schools: Aramark at Alabama, Compass Group at Auburn and Sodexo at UAB.

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