The Yale College Council said it intends to distribute a free discount card to the Yale community that will offer savings at participating local vendors.
The YCC unanimously approved a proposal Wednesday to bring the Student Savings Club to Yale. The idea for the proposal came from YCC Community Committee member Casey Moriarty ’05, whose uncle’s company, Collegiate Services, Inc., manages the Club.
Student Savings Club program manager Jason Sejud said he hopes to get 25 to 40 New Haven businesses to participate in the program. At other schools, participating stores have offered cardholders varying discounts.
YCC President Elliott Mogul ’05 said the council will list stores giving discounts on www.yalestation.org. Mogul said the council plans to distribute the cards near the beginning of second semester.
“It has lots of support on the YCC and just among students in general,” Mogul said. “I don’t envision any impediments to getting this done.”
The program also looks to benefit the YCC. Mogul said the Student Savings Club will “possibly” give a donation to the YCC. Moriarty said the donation will depend on how big the program becomes at Yale.
Sejud said the next step is for the YCC to send a list of desirable local businesses to the program so that it can solicit their participation. Moriarty said the YCC is in the process of putting together that list.
“By using a poll on [www.yalestation.org], we hope to compile a list of businesses and restaurants where students would most like to receive discounts,” Moriarty said.
Sejud said the program benefits both students and local businesses and is already in place at over 100 colleges across the country.
“The students obviously get discounts [and] nobody at the school has to pay anything,” Sejud said. “It’s good for [local stores] because it will help increase their business — and it’s better than just an ad in the paper.”
The YCC implemented a similar program in 1997. In conjunction with the Freshman Class Council and the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, the YCC sold “Yale Student Passes” for $5, which offered cardholders discounts at over 60 New Haven stores and restaurants.
Vendors pay a fee to the Student Savings Club to get their name on the back of the card, Sejud said. He said they must renew with the Club after a year, when new cards are issued.
YCC Community Committee chairman Christopher Wells ’06 said he expects the program to “stimulate” local businesses.
“Students are a vital part of the New Haven economy,” Wells said.
Wells said the program will initially target undergraduates but will likely spread to other members of the Yale community, such as faculty, staff and graduate students.
“The biggest winner is the entire Yale community,” YCC Vice President Nirupam Sinha ’05 said in an e-mail.
Moriarty said he thought to bring the Student Savings Club to Yale when he saw it implemented at the University of Washington, which has its main campus in Seattle, his hometown.
“The amount of businesses that have signed up for the University of Washington is just unbelievable,” Moriarty said. “And there’s no reason we can’t do that here.”