For the past several years, the ACU Students’ Association has used a portion of the Student Activity Fund to purchase Collegiate Cards. The card offers discounts at businesses all over Abilene, including restaurants, auto shops, floral shops, and car washes.
Christopher Shim, senior finance major from Atlanta, Ga., and Executive Treasure of SA, re-ordered the cards from the Collegiate Card vendor in June and began distributing them the first week of school.
“We were excited about Collegiate Cards, because I honestly feel like it’s one of the best ways a student can instantly get a return on their student activity fee. It’s an opportunity for us to give back to the student body a part of what they put into their fee. Every cent helps, and there are so many restaurants that participate in the Collegiate Card program,” said Shim.
Though the cards are free and readily available, Shim said that in the past, fewer students than expected took a card.
“It seems like mainly freshmen and a handful of returning students come to get cards. In order to reduce waste and help with cost, we ordered fewer cards this year because we’ve had boxes of them left over in the past. This year we ordered 1,200 cards, and the student body’s obviously much bigger than that, so students need to get one before we run out,” Shim said.
The goal of the program is to connect local businesses with students in a mutually beneficial way. Numerous restaurants and businesses have been long-time participants in the Collegiate Card, which services seven colleges and universities, four of which are in Abilene.
“We’re just here to try to make it rain. They’re free, and they’re available to you. It’s not just a one-time thing; it lasts all year, so it’s a gift that keeps on giving,” said Shim.
Cards are free and can be picked up in the SA office, downstairs in the Bean Sprout during regular office hours, which are noon to 5 p.m. A list of participating businesses can be found at www.thecollegiatecard.net.