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Punch cards promote student participation

| Friday, December 12, 2014

Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) launched the SMCard this semester to improve the attendance at campus events.

The card rewards students for attending events sponsored by Campus Ministry, the Center for Spirituality, Athletics, Belles Against Violence Office, SGA, Student Activity Board (SAB) and Student Diversity Board (SDB).

The initiative, pronounced S-M-C-card, offers prizes to Saint Mary’s students who engage in the College community, student body president and senior McKenna Schuster said.

“This initiative has been developed by the Student Government Association to help increase attendance at all events on Saint Mary’s campus,” Schuster said. “We wanted to create an incentive for students to attend events while boosting school spirit and morale.”

Attendance has doubled at events, Schuster said, evident at the release of the SMCard in early October. SDB’s annual bonfire usually hosts about 50 students, but more than 300 came out to get their cards stamped and engage in the events at the bonfire, Schuster said.

“There is a lot of hype created around the bonfire, and we thought it would be a great way for students to get their first stamp to start off,” Schuster said.

The cards were designed by marketing and media committee chair Katie Calhoun, a junior. Calhoun said she believes the prizes have been one of the most motivating factors in the success of the SMCard. Prizes include an iPad, three silver French cross necklaces, a $250 bookstore gift card and Munch Money that can be used in the on-campus cafes.

Calhoun said she has found that the idea of getting stamps for attending events excites students.

“McKenna, Sam and I go to all of the events we can and stamp cards,” Calhoun said. “When we ask girls if they have their cards, they are always so excited to pull them out and see how many more stamps they have to go.”

Punch cards reflect a current popular business trend, Calhoun said, and businesses like Dunkin’ Donuts offer free drinks after a certain number of punches.

“I think the SMCards have been successful because it’s new, punch cards are popular and it’s always fun to win prizes and enter drawings,” Calhoun said.

Schuster said the cards can be turned into the SGA office at any time to be entered into a drawing of cards that have received seven or more punches.

A drawing for the winners of the prizes will take place at Late Night Breakfast on Dec. 15 in the Noble Family Dining Hall.

Calhoun said the SMCard was an exciting way to improve attendance at events.

“We will only have 12 winners, but we have definitely seen more student participation around campus,” Calhoun said.

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About Haleigh Ehmsen

A senior at Saint Mary's, Haleigh is majoring in Communication Studies and English Literature & Writing. She serves as the Saint Mary's editor and enjoys coffee, guacamole and good books.

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