SGA pushes rewards program in Village

A Student Government Association ad-hoc senator is starting up an initiative with Village Relations to create a rewards program for Seton Hall University students to use in South Orange Village.

The idea behind it is to have a rewards program like ones you would see at Starbucks or Dunkin’ that offer students free foods or services over time.

Matthew Quarles / Staff Photographer

Molly Clearly, the freshman ad-hoc senator who came up with the idea commented on her plan for the initiative.

“I got this idea because I love eating in the village, but I also have to keep my budget,” Cleary said. “After years of using the Starbucks and Dunkin’ rewards apps, I thought, why not have one for South Orange?”

Cleary said that this initiative is not only a way to earn free food and/or services it’s also a way to create a new avenue for economic growth.

She went on to say that the initiative is steady over time and “has a projected 10-15% increase of membership annually after launch.”

This is based on a Starbuck’s study conducted over the past ten years. “Overall 40% of Starbucks’ revenue annually is from rewards,” according to Cleary and this initiative would be an improvement to Miti Miti’s, formerly Stony’s, 10% off discount on Mondays.

The initiative has four sections: business outreach, “Like” university outreach, administration outreach and IT Outreach.

Ronald Babiak, a Stillman School of Business senator and Student Senate Finance Committee chairman and another one of Cleary’s teammates commented as well.

Babiak discussed his role in the initiative saying he was asked by Cleary to assist in obtaining information from other universities to enquire on whether a similar program existed at their institution. He also reached out to local businesses in the South Orange Village to see if they offer financial incentives to students who frequent their establishments.

She went on to say that after reaching out to other universities, her team found out that, of those who responded, none have a program like the one she hopes to implement.

Her goal is for Seton Hall students to be able to afford to eat in the village while improving relations in the village and growing business in South Orange.

According to Cleary, the students she has spoken to have been “very excited about this idea; the response has been the same from members of SGA. We are also in the process of gathering names and reaching out to businesses to gauge interest.”

Rishi Shah, a freshman senator and one of Cleary’s teammates commented on the initiative.

Shah said he believes the initiative is great. “Ad-hoc Senator Cleary’s thought can truly become an important change for the South Orange community and Seton Hall students,” Shah said.

Shah went on to say that if stores in the community are willing to “buy onto the initiative, they will truly benefit in profits in the long run; students will also greatly benefit for the initiative.”

Babiak shared his goals for the initiative stating he’d like to gather as much data as possible, “assist Ad-Hoc Cleary in successfully implementing the rewards program and give students the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to the economic growth and success of the town in which their University is situated in.”

Babiak concluded by saying he, like Shah, believes this initiative is a great idea as it will foster economic growth and “create cohesion between Seton Hall University and the Village of South Orange.”

“This will further integrate Seton Hall University and its students into the community, a very important goal for the Village Relations Committee of the Student Government Association,” Babiak said. “I stand behind the initiative and the idea behind it. I will assist Ad-Hoc Cleary in making the rewards program a reality.”

“I am very passionate about this initiative,” Cleng said. “We have all heard people call their projects their “babies,” but I feel as if it is not my baby, but more accurately the logical solution that serves the SHU and SO communities. I strongly believe that this could and should work, the only question is when.”

Rhania Khamel can be reached at rhania.khamel@student.shu.edu.

Author: Rhania Kamel

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