SGA Launches Student Discount Card Initiative

Natalie Pudalov

Student Government Association’s President senior Sam Flood and Senator and Chair of the External Affairs Committee sophomore Anna Roberts have recently collaborated with 16 Hamilton businesses to create and sell a mutually beneficial Student Discount Card.

“The process for Colgate University students to have a permanent discount card has been three years in the making,” Flood said. “It was the dedication and commitment of Anna Roberts to finish the legwork this summer.”

To gauge student interest and the effectiveness of the card, 500 trial cards were given to Colgate students during the spring of last year. This temporary discount card lasted one month and gave students 10% off of one purchase at eight downtown businesses, Monday through Wednesday.

“People were receptive to that idea, but it kind of fell through in planning. I took it on at the end of last year and coordinated with the businesses over the summer and created a website,” Roberts said.

Due to the trial program, SGA entered this year with a clear idea of what they wanted the card to accomplish.

“This year’s conception of the Student Discount Card is likely to offer a continuous boom to greater-Hamilton businesses and restaurants, as we have made 1,500 cards without an expiration date,” Flood said.

At the beginning of September, the SGA sent out a survey asking students whether they would buy a discount card to use at 16 Hamilton businesses, for a price between 10 and 15 dollars. Roughly 90 percent of the 1,035 participants responded that they would buy such a discount card.

“As a new student on Colgate’s campus, I love the idea of being able to share and give back,” first-year Dayna Campbell said. “I think the idea is a great one since we have such a small community, and it’s something we can all use frequently.”

The current discount card is associated with sixteen downtown businesses, including restaurants, theatres and salons, the discounts varying accordingly. Several discounts include, but are not limited to, 10 percent off tickets shown on the Palace Theatre’s website, one dollar off admission at the Northeast Classic Car Museum, 10 percent off any purchase first semester at Maxwell’s, 13 percent off any one item at Swank and 20 percent off any massage service during business hours at Hamilton Massage Therapy.

“The best part for local businesses was that they could create their own discounts, so it would benefit them the most,” Roberts said. “It was really beneficial for them to be able to pick and choose that way instead of having one discount apply to all of them.”

The proceeds from the discount card go to the Hamilton Business Alliance (HBA), to which all participating businesses belong. After the money from the sales of the cards is turned over to the HBA, it is divided among the businesses, ensuring that they do not lose money throughout the discount card process.

As of October 6, the SGA sold 116 discount cards and plans to continue selling them through the week of October 7 and for a couple of days after Fall Break. The cards are $10.00 each and can be purchased at the O’Connor Campus Center (Coop) or online through a Google form.

“It is a little early in the sales returns to judge the success of the initiative,” Flood said. “I hope as many students as possible take advantage of the myriad discounts

vis-a-vis purchasing the Discount Card.”

Contact Natalie Pudalov at [email protected]