A committee of WCU students is re-launching its campaign to advertise the Ram E-card’s many features to students and businesses.Second-year student Stephani Long, the Student Government Association senator for SSI, said that the purpose of the committee is to have students become more involved in the services of the card.
The committee, Long said, is comprised of five to six students that want to administer reminders to students that the card can assist them with purchases on and off campus.
“This is the semester when we’re going to push the plan on campus,” Long said.
“[We want the students] to become more aware of the Wawas, the Scoops and the Pita Pits,” Long said. Additionally, she wants to promote recognition of the fact that students can use the card for doing laundry and purchasing items for the vending machines on campus.
“I never know which places [accept Ram bucks,]” Diane Smith, first-year student said. “Some have multiple locations.”
According to Long, flyers and displays after Spring break will be in the residence to publicize the vendors that do accept Ram bucks and possibly new vendors that have been added to the system.
Specifically, the Ram E-card is a product of the Blackboard transaction system, which is in place at various universities in the nation. Blackboard provides combination packages which offer the university a multitude of operational tools. For example, the Ram-E card, in addition to being a means of identification, can allow students to purchase items in the dining facilities on campus, the SSI bookstore using Ram bucks, but additionally can allow students to make off-campus purchases-at 28 venues. According to a document that lists vendors, location and initiation of business involvement with WCU, some of these include Iron Hill located on West Gay Street, West Chester Scoop located on North Darlington Street and Giant on Downingtown Pike as of since 2007. Prospective businesses include Cosi` and Country Bagel.
“It’s nice to have a couple dollars [on Ram Bucks,]” Wyatt Jackson, first-year student said. “But it’s easier to have cash because you can use it in more places.”
A survey was administered to SGA in November 2007 that evaluated what students liked and disliked about the card. The committee, as a result, has been collaborating to tailor the responses to changes. In fact, an other survey will be in place to be administered to the Off-Campus and Commuter’s Association, there are not as many off-campus students utilizing the card. Additionally, surveys will be possibly administered to the Student Activities Council, according to Long.
“The outlets will be there for them to express what they want,” Long said.
In addition to increasing the knowledge of the parameters of the card, the committee also endeavors to fortify business ties with vendors. For example, the committee plans on visiting vendors with letters of thanks and signs that indicate that the venue accepts Ram bucks.
“We’re working on making the relationships with the ones we already have stronger as opposed to adding as many vendors as we can,” Long said.
Lindsey Wilwert, manager of Papa John’s located on 701 S. High St., said that approximately one to seven Ram bucks transactions or swipes are made daily. Additionally, Wilwert said that they receive 25 to 30 Ram Bucks transactions monthly. Papa John’s has been accepting Ram bucks for nearly two years.
As of Fall 2008, Long said that an incentive program will initiate and will offer prizes to students who use their Ram E-card on a regular basis
Currently the Ram E-Card is now accepted at Salad Works and Burrito Loco in a continuing effort to expand locations and places the Ram E-Card is accepted in West Chester.
Nicole Fortuna is a second-year student majoring in English with a concentration in romantic languages. She can be reached at QuadEIC@wcupa.edu.