SGA initiates investment plan
The Student Government Association recently launched the Student Savings Club, which allows students, staff and faculty to receive discounts at participating restaurants and retailers locally and nationally.
“Originally, I was contacted by Pat Moriarty, who is with the Collegiate Services Incorporated, which works to promote the student savings program on campuses across the country,” SGA President Kenneth Fomunung said.
Fomunung said the CSI typically works with student governments and approached SGA in the summer of 2009 with a proposal.
“I shared the proposal with the senate here in the student government and the reception was very positive; people were very excited about the program,” Fomunung said. “Initially, we wanted to explore other options to see if we could do it ourselves.”
Fomunung said the Student Life Committee and SGA were able to come together in a meeting and organize the campaign to get the proposal through the SGA Senate.
“It seemed like the legwork of doing it ourselves was just going to be overwhelming for the time it would have taken,” Student Life Committee member Veronica Evans said. “Also, the contracting part of it, because we would have to contract with every single business.”
Evans said the SGA chose to contract with one business, the Student Savings Club, and have them contract out to other interested businesses.
“We actually passed a resolution in the Senate to endorse this program,” Fomunung said.
Fomunung said the program is costing the SGA $1,750 for one year.
The SGA submitted a list of the businesses that they felt students would benefit from and are frequented the most by the student population.
“I felt that in the SGA Senate, we had enough diversity in the 40 or so representatives to put together a list that reflected the general population to some extent,” Fomunung said.
There are 45 local listings, including Berripop Yogurt and Buffalo Wild Wings. Businesses such as Avis and Blue Nile can be found under the national listings. Students can receive up to a 50 percent discount at these selected locations just by flashing their Cougar Card.
“Because it’s such a long-term program, my understanding from the CSI representative is that there are potential businesses that could join the program,” Fomunung said. “(Since) we began the effort of trying to do this ourselves, we actually had some companies that were willing to offer discounts to our students. Now that we have the program up and running, we can include those businesses on the list.
“This list has potential to grow.”
Fomunung hopes to be able to get Starbucks to join.
Students, staff and faculty can access this service by going onto the SGA Web site and clicking the “student savings” link. Certain businesses have coupons that can be printed and presented before purchase.
Most of the businesses are within a 10-mile radius of the campus.
“The beautiful thing about the program is its simplicity. All students have to do is show up at their favorite businesses (that are listed) and when purchasing an item, display their red Cougar Card,” Fomunung said. “That’s it. If the student should encounter a problem, they can always come to the SGA and communicate that to us.”
Evans added that they are also looking into getting an iPhone application developed for the Student Savings Club.
The program expires Feb. 28, 2011.
“This student savings program is active in several universities in different states, and we are especially proud of this program because we are the first school in the state of Texas to participate,” Fomunung said.