The Yale College Council is now extending discounts at local vendors to the entire Yale community, with the release of a more comprehensive version of the Student Discount Card in dining halls today.
In an expansion of the program, which the YCC introduced last year, this year’s card features discounts offered by 42 local businesses — an increase from the 28 businesses who previously participated. The growth of the discount program is the result of merging the Student Discount Card with the New Employee’s Value Card, a similar discount card administered by Yale Human Resources for University staff.
Those who show a Yale ID and Savings Club Card at local vendors, such as Yorkside Pizza and Restaurant and Campus Customs, will receive discounts of around 10 percent depending on the vendor.
“This new card is much more for all Yale — whereas last year it was geared towards students,” said Casey Moriarty ’05, who, as a YCC representative last year, first proposed the idea of making available a discount card to students.
An outside vendor, Collegiate Services, Inc. manages the card, which is part of Collegiate Services’ Student Savings Club program. Local merchants pay Collegiate Services a small fee for being featured on the card.
“I think the card helps Yale students and businesses advertise the fact that discounts are available,” YCC Vice President Chance Carlisle ’05 said. “A lot of businesses already have these discounts.”
Feedback for last year’s student card was very strong, Carlisle said, despite the limited number of businesses who participated in the program. But Carlisle said he hopes this year’s improved card is more widely adopted than it was last year.
Moriarty said the administration has been instrumental in encouraging more businesses to participate in this year’s card.
“Last year, the YCC came to me and asked about distributing their student discount card to students and staff. I thought it was a great idea, and we mentioned that we also had a similar employee discount card,” Chief Human Resources Officer Rob Schwartz said.
Dan George, currently the senior learning associate at Yale’s Organizational Development and Learning Center, worked with the YCC to provide more benefits to those using the card, Schwartz said.
“We wanted to combine our activities and make things better for everybody,” Schwartz said.
Moriarty and Carlisle both said that the YCC is focusing its efforts this year on publicizing the card and making sure all students know it is available.
“We are a little worried that people don’t know the card is a lot stronger than last year,” Moriarty said. “We hope people realize we’ve made a lot of improvements.”
Yorkside Pizza and Restaurant co-owner George Koutroumanis, said he did not see many students using the card last year. Nevertheless, his restaurant participated again in this year’s program as a gesture of support for the Yale community, he said.
“It’s just to reciprocate and show our appreciation for your business,” Koutroumanis said. “It’s to help out where we can.”
Carlisle said the card, which is free for all members of the Yale community, should be available Monday in all dining halls.
“Students should be able to get the card in their dining halls, and if not they should contact their YCC representatives,” Carlisle said. “We have a few thousand of them, so instead of them sitting in a box, I’d rather they be in the hands of students.”
Some merchants, such as Dunkin Donuts, offer discounts to the Yale community even though they are not featured in writing on the Student Discount Card, Carlisle said.