C-U shops give i-card discount

By Michael Logli

Aside from its new look, the i-card now gives discounts to students at certain locations through the i-card Perks Program. By showing a University i-card at one of nine stores, students can receive a variety of discounts, though some are limited to deals for only one semester.

The idea came from the success of similar programs at other state universities, said Jennifer Goode, i-card documentation specialist.

“We have seen how popular similar programs at other universities have been with their student bodies,” Goode said. “And we have wanted to provide that same level of value and service to University of Illinois students, faculty and staff.”

Businesses and companies participating in the program have to apply to the i-card Programs department on campus annually. The companies in the program were chosen through an initial survey of campus residents concerning which stores they frequently shop, Goode said.

The i-card Programs department then sent out a mass e-mail to the various merchants, and those that responded and applied became part of the program.

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    Participating merchants received an enrollment kit consisting of table tents, window clings and other forms of advertisement. The program also placed fliers, stadium cups and wallet cards to hand out in residence halls on Quad Day, at the ID Center and other campus functions, Goode said.

    The program is meant to help both students and businesses, Goode said.

    “I-card holders are attracted to these great offers and discounts and the merchants are seeing higher customer traffic,” Goode said.

    Despite the advertising, some students were not aware the program existed.

    “I’ve never heard of it before until now,” said Peter Maraccini, sophomore in Engineering.

    Also, some students who have heard of the program said they would like other businesses to be a part of the discount over others.

    “Discounts at Walgreens would be nice, or anything a student uses daily,” said Alex Mahajan, junior in Engineering.

    Students who have used the card said they believe the benefits are a good idea and helpful for students.

    “You only get so many meals (in the dining hall),” said Joe LaPayne, sophomore in Engineering.

    If the rewards program is successful here, the i-card Program office hopes to extend the rewards program to the Chicago and Springfield campuses as well, Goode said.