By Kayla Perry
A new initiative has been launched for students in Sudbury: the Off-Campus Perks website.
The website is geared towards students from Laurentian University, Cambrian College, and College Boreal, and showcases a number of deals and offers from local businesses.
Chris Mercer, Chief of Staff at LU, was among those who organized the initiative, which began after a series of student-surveys revealed that post-secondary students in Sudbury are not as connected with the city as they would like to be.
“We want students in Sudbury to feel that they are connected with the city. Off-Campus Perks is a way to get the conversation started,” said Mercer. “This will be a way for students to learn more about the city and see what it has to offer.”
More than 1,300 people viewed the website during the first month of the site’s existence. The site has the possibility to reach 20,000 post-secondary students city-wide.
The website serves as not only a way for students to discover deals in town, but also a way to promote local businesses: for a fee of $75, businesses can register and promote sales they are having. Mercer said the fee goes toward “website costs and administration.”
The Students’ General Association also played a role in the initiative’s setup.
“We believe that strong links are needed between students and the Sudbury community,” Charles Wilson, Executive Director of the SGA, said. “We have partnered with the university on the off- campus perks program. This is a program which we endorse and commit our resources to.”
Wilson added: “The one issue is I believe a lot of students are not aware of what is available in the community. Although not an SGA initiative, (the off-campus perks program) is still an important component of our overall strategy of creating greater understanding within the Sudbury community of the issues faced by Laurentian students and assisting Laurentian students to get the most out of their experience while in Sudbury.”
Currently, the website offers deals to 35 local Sudbury businesses, some of which include Staples, Science North, Sixtysix, and the Sudbury Wolves hockey club.
In order to receive the deals offered on the website, students must present a valid student card at the time of purchase.
“I urge students to visit the website and see what it has to offer,” Mercer said.