Misericordia students may soon be able to use their Cougar Points at a variety of places off campus.
The Student Government Association and Vice President of Student Life Kit Foley have been working with nearby businesses to turn a longtime goal for students into reality sooner rather than later.
Students have wanted to use Cougar Points off campus for a while now and a survey sent out last spring made it appear that dream may actually be happening.
In the survey, students were asked to choose four nearby restaurants and fast food chains where they would like to use Cougar Points. The response rate on the survey was tremendous, which caught the eye of decision-makers.
“The poll that SGA did got 600 responses, which is awesome from the students,” said club president junior mass communications and design major Mike Diakunczak.
Another key reason to get this plan into action is because of similar options at other nearby campuses.
“I believe the motivation started from the other local schools around us like Wilkes and King’s. I know they do it and it’s a very popular thing at their schools. It’s an exciting opportunity and puts us some steps forward and making our students happy,” said Diakunczak.
The poll gave Foley a good idea of which companies to try to strike a deal with.
“I know the top ones that we are considering are Sheetz, J&J’s and the local fast food restaurant chains like Wendy’s. I know there’s a few more on there but those are the top priority ones,” said Diakunczak.
He said students would have been able to use their swipes at the beginning of the semester, but factors beyond the university’s control prevented it from being able to get the program off the ground.
“It’s a contract-based thing. It’s a money process. They have to get the right equipment and eligibility to use our swipes to contain that money. They’re all on contracts so it takes a little longer to get done,” said Diakunczak.
These factors have lengthened the process of getting the program going; however, the program may be getting started soon, he said.
“When I have my conversations with Kit Foley, the one who’s trying to get it done for us, she told me that the contracts are done. She is just waiting for them to get signed, but it is still ongoing,” said Diakunczak.
Foley estimated the program could be ready by the start of the spring semester.
People on campus are already buzzing about the added food options. Junior occupational therapy major Amanda Miller is excited to have dining options that are open later.
“I think having more options will be awesome. Right now, the school does a decent job with giving students variety, but it will be nice to pick from even more places, especially places that have accommodating hours for students up really early or really late,” said Miller.
Sophomore medical health humanities and pre-DPT major Cait Coyle emphasized how the new options will help keep meals from becoming repetitive.
“It’s so exciting to me that the school is allowing for more food options than just the dining hall, Chopping Block and Chick-Fil-A,” Coyle said. “Living here year round, I have realized that sometimes students need a change in their dining options, as to not get sick of the same choices. It is great that Misericordia is allowing for a diverse number of dining options for their students.”
More information will be provided when knowledge is gained about which places are confirmed to use Cougar Points and how the system will work.