Students and businesses both profit from discount cards

To the Editor:

With regard to Sam Taylor’s article “YCC can do better than discount card” (2/17), I would like to congratulate the author on his earth-shattering revelation that the savings cards provide advertisement for local businesses. This brilliant insight is the backbone of his weak and pitiful attempt to reduce the card’s worth to something equivalent to a poor advertising gimmick.

Taylor argues that the 28 local businesses that enrolled in the program will rush to increase their prices to maintain their stores’ original profit margin, or better yet, they will have an unfair price advantage against their competitors because of their newly cemented Wal-Mart-esque market share. Both scenarios are outright ridiculous. The former assumes that these small businesses will react to the meager subscription fee of less than $250 dollars by changing their prices, which would probably adversely change volume. The latter assumes that because of increased volume in sales generated by the promotional card, the listed businesses will unfairly compete with similar companies. So, which one is it? The real answer is that, like many things in New Haven, nothing will happen at all other than students’ saving a small percentage at their favorite places.

The discount card’s purpose is to strengthen the Yale community and local businesses’ relationship by allowing each to mutually profit. Students receive cheaper prices at some of our favorite restaurants, like Naples, the Doodle and Bar, all of which are giving discounts for the first time. Likewise, businesses receive advertising benefits and have a chance to show their appreciation to the Yale community for their patronage. In the long run, a successful program will lead to an expansion in the number of companies that opt to use the card and an increase in the benefits provided to students.

What infuriates me about the Taylor’s article is his insinuation that the YCC and its members acted unethically by contracting work to Collegiate Services, a company run by YCC representative Moriarty’s uncle. Moriarty is a person beyond reproach and certainly above any insinuation that he behaved inappropriately.

As with the author’s contention that the YCC should have better things to do, I would respond that our agenda is slated with many initiatives and programs, all of which I am confident will be met with some skepticism or criticism. The airport shuttle, Community Service Day and Spring Fling are all priorities of this council, yet we are still capable of providing smaller services like the on-line dating survey and responding to poorly penned op-eds.

Chancellor Carlisle

February 17, 2004

The writer is a YCC representative for Saybrook College.

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