Compiled by the Retriever Weekly Senior Staff
SGA takes initiative to support local businesses
As a UMBC Student, chances are you have a Red ID card you use to get food with a meal plan and into your dorm complex, as well as attend campus events. If you were also inclined you could also Retriever Dollars to purchase food and other supplies you need to live from dining and shopping facilities on campus, and some select dining establishments outside of the campus, such as Peace A Pizza. The Campus Card is a necessity for anyone who lives on campus. Outside of campus however, students might not find much reason to pull out their red card.
The Red Card Program wants to change that. It is an initiative run by Ae Lim (Ally) Yang of the Student Government Association for UMBC to have more of an impact on the local community and economy. The program has been around for about a year, and they are working to have more local businesses to use our campus cards to get student discounts. The Right now you can discounts for clothes at the J. Crew in Columbia Mall, hair and skin services from Perfect Touch Hair Salon and Day Spa, and noodles from Pho Saigon, You can even use flex dollars to purchase from Papa Johns.
This is a great move on the SGA’s part. It’s extra motivation for students to go out and support the local community, and if more students go out to support these local businesses, these businesses could end up making more types of special discounts and deals for students. And as more students spend more time at these businesses, other establishments may start offering their own discounts, or offer higher quality products to stay in the competition. In the end, it sends up with a better community for UMBC students.
If this is to succeed however, this needs to be advertised more by the SGA, the school itself and the participating businesses. The ability to use the ID card as a way to get discounts is something that all of the students should know about. After all spending less money is spending less money. Unfortunately, very few people seem to know about this. According to the Princeton Review, there are currently has almost 11,000 undergraduates enrolled at UMBC. On the Red Card Program facebook group, there are only around 300 members. That’s only around 3% of the undergrad population. This is something that every student they know about because it goes without saying, if no one knows about it, no one will take advantage of it.
The students will also have to support this by actually going out to these businesses and spending their time there. If you’re craving a sandwich, maybe head over to Bean and Burgundy Bread or Snow Café in Ellicott City. Grab a pizza from Papa Johns or Pizza 786. If no one comes to take advantage of the deal, then there is no reason to keep it around. If there is no reliable market to cash in on, there is no reason for other companies to join in on the program.
The Red Card Program is an ongoing initiative, and for more information on where and how you can use your campus ID outside of school, or if you want to help with the program, you can visit their facebook page.
Sources and links: http://my.umbc.edu/groups/servicecommunityoutreach/news/47452