With your student ID card in hand, you take a ride on the city bus and the bus driver says you don’t have to pay. You make it to Happy Joe’s and get 10 percent off of your entire order. You know that St. Ambrose University offers discounts to students at local businesses, but how?
The Student Government Association (SGA) is in charge of contacting businesses in the area for discounts. Celeste Raya, a sophomore at St. Ambrose and member of SGA, heads up the committee that handles this.
“We get together in the summer to contact local businesses before school starts,” Raya said. “We contact some of the places that already give us discounts and contact new places to see if they would be willing to. Most of the businesses will let us keep the discount, but may change the type of discount depending on their promotions.”
The committee will go to the businesses with a contract for the year. The business has about two weeks to respond and mail the contract back before SGA will call and follow up.
Raya first started working on the discounts near the end of her freshman year. She said no one was in charge of it at the time, so she stepped up. She said because they do most of the work during the summer, she wasn’t worried about it affecting her schedule or coursework.
“I thought it would be fun and I had the time. I live close enough to school, that I could just drive over and work in the SGA office for a couple of hours,” Raya said.
Some of the businesses that have been contacted don’t agree to offer a student discount. Raya said she will check again the next time they visit businesses and see if anything changes. She said she is trying to get a nice mix of businesses to benefit the students, so she is hoping to secure businesses that will provide discounts on groceries or school supplies.
Since there is still several weeks before school is out for the summer, they haven’t been concentrating hard on the discounts for next year yet. She said they changed the structure of the student constitution so they have been keeping busy with that.
“The Rogalski game room will be turned into the new bookstore in May so we’ll be working a lot with that in the next few weeks,” Raya said. “We also work a lot with CAB (Campus Activities Board) and they will have events coming up too. After spring break though, things start to pick back up.”