The Student Government Association compiled a list of 16 area businesses — eight of which are national corporations — that offer discounts to students with a valid Youngstown State University ID.
Area locations offering discounts range from restaurants, like the Lemon Grove Cafe and Charlie Staples Bar-B-Q, to retailers, like Charlotte Russe and the Limited at the Southern Park and Eastwood malls.
Some students were surprised to hear what they could have been saving, for many were unaware of the available discounts.
Jennifer Terek, a YSU senior who commutes from Pittsburgh, is one of those students.
“While I’m in town, I might have taken advantage of the savings had I known,” she said.
Freshman Andrew Stamp was most surprised to hear that he could be saving money at Quaker Steak and Lube, where he often eats.
“It surprises me that there is no way of them letting us know — through a sign or something,” Stamp said.
He added that if YSU made a list available to students, he would keep current with it.
Ron Cole, director of university communications, said he’s unaware of any action taken by the university, past or present, to market the discounts to students.
Jack Fahey, vice president for student affairs, said SGA has always handled the discounts. He said SGA has, in the past, printed and passed out loyalty cards to students.
Travis Battiest, SGA vice president for university affairs, said a list of locations offering discounts to students will be posted on SGA’s website this week.
He encourages companies that offer student discounts to contact SGA to ensure that they keep up to date with the discounts.
“We will be updating the list as needed because the list is subject to change,” Battiest said.
Battiest said the discounts reflect YSU’s importance to the community.
“Business owners are willing to give discounts to students because YSU is such a big part of the city,” Battiest said. “Its students live in the area and benefit the economy.”
He also stressed the importance of students’ supporting local businesses.
“College students are a whole sector of the market,” he said.
Denny’s in Liberty and Boardman will take 20 percent off a YSU student’s bill.
Ellen Gallo, manager of Denny’s in Liberty, said the discount is a great asset for students and the businesses that provide it for them.
Great Clips in Liberty takes $2 off haircuts for students.
Gina Fortune, assistant manager at the Liberty salon, said the student discount is one of her most used coupons.
“We try to bring the community to us and then give back to them,” Fortune said. “The student body makes up a big part of that community.”
The Youngstown Phantoms hockey team also enjoys the benefits of a healthful relationship with YSU students, partly because of the student discount for Friday night games.
Phantoms regular season game tickets range from $10 to $15. YSU students pay half price.
“Some of our most passionate fans are Youngstown State students,” said Bart Logan, media relations coordinator with the Phantoms.
Nationally, wireless service providers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless give discounts to students enrolled at a university.
Both companies take 10 percent off the monthly bill of students. Verizon also gives a 25 percent discount on all accessories.
SGA is looking into strengthening its relationship with local businesses and hopes to keep students informed.
“Youngstown has a lot of potential to be a great college town,” Battiest said. “It is certainly heading in that direction.”