Starting this week, Temple Student Government will distribute 15,000 student discount cards that can be used at 23 businesses throughout the city.
The cards, which will be distributed during homecoming week, are fulfilling a campaign promise that Temple Advocating Progress made to help students better acclimate with Philadelphia.
“Our goal from the start has been to find businesses that are not necessarily right on our campus or in our backyard because we want students to explore the city of Philadelphia,” TSG Student Body President David Lopez said.
The business locations extend from South Philadelphia to Northern Liberties and offer a range of products.
The locations include Landmark Theater on Walnut Street, Applebee’s and Coldstone Creamery on Aramingo Avenue, Meineke Car Care Center on North Broad Street and even Snip on Farimount Avenue.
The discount cards will be valid through Oct. 5, 2013. The TSG officers said students should be prepared to show both the card and their student identification to receive the discounts.
TSG used a good portion of its semester’s budget to have College Discount Cards construct the cards and facilitate the deals with the businesses.
“Our initial plan was to make sure the students had access to more use of their Temple ID. … We just happened to come across a company, which [gave] students the opportunity to get a lot of college discounts for the entire year,” Lopez said.
TSG Vice President of Student Affairs Julian Hamer said the idea also stemmed from seeing other college students receive discounts in the city.
“I have friends who attend other universities in Philadelphia and I know that by showing their ID they get discounts to certain places. I said, ‘Hey, why don’t we have that same service?’” Hamer said.
Hamer, along with TSG Vice President of External Affairs Ofo Ezeugwu, spent most of August creating a list of about 60 businesses that would appeal to students.
From there, College Discount Cards negotiated with the businesses and then returned a list of available discounts to TSG, which then selected the deals fitting for students.
Several businesses that Lopez, Hamer and Ezeugwu wanted the most either did not agree to participate, such as the IHOP in Center City, or were not economically able to offer a discount.
“We tried [the discounts] with smaller business, but feasibly they would not be able to accommodate this because even if a small percentage of students who get the cards actually go there, it could hurt their revenue and we don’t want that to happen either,” Lopez said.
However, that did not stop them from scoring with popular restaurants including Jim’s Steaks on South Street. Students are able to receive a free soft drink with the purchase of any sandwich.
Ken Silver, who is the son of co-owner Abner Silver, said his father attended and graduated from Temple and was a significant reason for their participation.
“I would imagine he would do anything to help his alma mater,” Ken Silver said.
Similarly, Donald Altman, owner of U Got Munchies and former Temple student, understands students like to save money. The restaurant at 2012 Broad St. will offer 10 percent off any food purchased before 4 p.m.
“We are hoping to drive more daytime sales, especially from commuters who aren’t necessarily around at night,” Altman said.
Altman said he would evaluate the effectiveness of the coupon in terms of sales to determine if he would participate in a similar initiative in the future.
As for now, TSG plans to begin distribution of the cards during the pep rally on Friday, Oct. 5. Lopez said the plan is to strongly encourage students to register with Temple Advocates Legislative Outreach Network, which acts as an advocacy brance at the university, when they receive the discount cards.
“Fight for your funding and at the same time here is a small reward,” Lopez said.
Laura Detter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.