University gives students chance to win prizes

St. John’s University is implementing a new reward program this semester to encourage students to get involved in campus activities.

“An institutional goal is to increase student engagement opportunities on campus,” said Mary Pelkowski, associate dean for student engagment. “This program specifically offers and aims to encourage students to get involved in many different opportunities throughout the Division of Student Affairs.”

Through the MVP Student Reward Program, students gain points when they swipe their Storm cards at campus events, including athletic games, academic lectures, fitness classes, career center workshops
and commuter programs. Points can be tracked through students’ UIS accounts.

Once students earn 25 points, they receive a short-sleeved Red Storm T-shirt; at 50 they receive a long-sleeved shirt along with a complimentary drink from the Starbucks in the D’Angelo Center. After these prizes are earned, students get to spend their points on prizes like movie tickets, MetroCards and gift cards. At the end of the year, the student with the most points overall will receive a $500 American Express Gift Card.

The amount of points varies by event. For example, a student can receive four points for attending an academic lecture series, three points for a women’s soccer game and 10 points for homecoming programs.

“[The Reward Program’s] goal is to increase school spirit and tradition while also creating excitement and attendance at all athletic events and division-wide Student Affairs programs,” Pelkowski said.

Students expressed mixed opinions when it came to this new venture.

“It seems like a very shallow way to get students to come to events. I don’t think it’s necessary; if students are interested then they’ll attend,” said student Chris Jones.

Junior Lisa Bilella expressed similar doubts.

“I’m not really sure how many people will go to events just to get rewards,” she said. “I don’t know if it would be that effective.”

Freshman Kyle Weiss, however, offered a different opinion.

“I think it’s a good way to get students involved in campus events,” he said. “I don’t know if it will encourage more kids to show up, but we’ll see.”