BY AUSTIN WELLS
Every student at Conestoga College has access to the school’s student card, or ONE Card, as it is called, but not every student is aware of some of the card’s other benefits. In addition to acting as a student card, it is the college library card, and students can load money onto it and use it to make purchases at any vendor on campus, sometimes at a discount. However, not every student has taken advantage of this or is aware of the card’s benefits.
“I’ve never used the ONE card to pay for anything before,” said Erica Poluck, a second-year law office administration student. “However, I do see the advantage of it, and the conveniences it offers would be really nice. The discounts are nice and I would use it in the future if the perks were increased.”
According to Chartwells manager Jennifer Bruder, over 200 students use the card each a day.
Paying for products with the card gives students a five per cent discount at many locations on campus. Off campus, the card can be used at the McDonald’s across the street from the Doon campus, the Johnny Fresco restaurant in Waterloo, and Gino’s Pizza and the Pizza Pizza near Pioneer/Doon Village. Additionally, the ONE Card office often runs giveaways for students loading cash onto their cards, such as silicone wallets that attach to the back of phones, lanyards, T-shirts and iPads. Chris Hussey, one of the ONE Card office’s customer service assistants, said the card has gone through a series of changes since it launched in September 2015.
“When it was initially launched, it didn’t have a lot of the services it currently has, but since then it’s evolved into something that’s sort of all encompassing,” he said.
The simple student card now acts as a library card, a key card to access places like the rec centre (and soon, some classrooms and labs) and a credit card for use at the cafeterias on campus, at the previously mentioned discount. According to Hussey, Conestoga students loaded $250,000 onto their ONE Cards last year.
There are no service fees for loading money onto the ONE Card, and depositing certain amounts makes you eligible for some of the associated giveaways (such as the aforementioned iPad giveaway, which is eligible to anyone who loaded $500 onto their card according to Hussey).
“We described it during Orientation as, ‘if you’re buying books and spending money like that, why not try to get an iPad out of it as well,” he said. “We’re always coming up with new specials and new partnerships with different departments, and making sure that the card is something students get a lot of benefit out of.”
Staff at the ONE Card office continually work toward creating a product that best serves the interests of Conestoga’s students, while being convenient and saving them some money.
To stay caught up on news regarding the ONE Card or any associated giveaways, follow the ONE Card office on Twitter at @CC_ONECard, on Facebook at the Conestoga One Card page and on Instagram as ConestogaONECard.