New rewards program motivates students to get involved

Taylor Rogers

Kent State now offers a fuelperks-inspired rewards program.

Introducing: FLASHperks, a program that grants points to students for attending events on and around campus. Katie Goldring, the graduate assistant working on FLASHperks, said students simply sign up on the program’s website, swipe their flashcards at selected events and collect the rewards.

Signing up costs nothing, and the entire program is internet based. Once students swipe their cards at an event, points are added to their account online. They can then spend them on various prizes, which are listed in a catalogue on the website.

Goldring said students have complete freedom when it comes redeeming rewards.

“It may seem like everything costs a lot of points, but they carry over from year to year, so you can save up for something big if you want,” Goldring said.

The “something big” Goldring referred to can range from Super Bowl tickets (50,000,000 points) to an iPad (2,495,000 points) or a television (900,000 points). Students wishing to spend a little sooner can trade in for a Chipotle gift card (25,000 points) or Kent State apparel.

Funding for the program is split between the Provost’s office and the Office of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.

Not all on-campus events offer points for FLASHperks, but Goldring said students have a wide variety to choose from. Each department received a certain amount of points, and that department then determined what events to allot points to.

A calendar of designated activities is featured on the website, and each one can offer anywhere from 300 to 2,000 points. Open Mic Night at the Rathskeller, Late Night Weekend Movies and various tutoring sessions all offer students the opportunity to earn.

Although some activities do offer the maximum point value, only one of the 32 events in September offered 2,000. The average amount given at an event during September was 418 points, which means at this rate, a student would have to attend roughly 2,000 events to redeem the television and nearly 6,000 events to earn the iPad.

Goldring said while they are still working certain parts of the program, FLASHperks has been in the works for over a year. The original idea started in the Sport and Recreation Management department and only included offering points for attending athletic events. Goldring said they altered it to include a variety of campus activities to encourage student involvement.

“I just think that when you’re in college you should really try to get involved and try different things,” Goldring said. “You’re just given a little extra incentive to maybe go to a musical that you never would have or even help yourself with academics by taking some extra tutoring sessions.”

Although the program has been up and running for just a short time now, roughly 2,100 students are registered. Goldring said one student has already collected 9,000 points— the most of any participant thus far.

Danielle Taylor, freshman political science major, said she was not aware she was topping the FLASHperks’ charts. She decided to sign up for the program to become more engaged on campus, and she said she’s simply paid attention to what activities will earn her the most points.

“I would try to get more involved in things if I saw that I could get more points for it,” Taylor said.

Her participation has earned her more than just FLASHperks points. She said she’s also learned to navigate campus and make new friends through the program.

“I get to try out different types of things on campus, and I find a lot of different places that way,” Taylor said. “You can actually meet new people that way too.”

Taylor may be the student with the highest point total, but she is far from redeeming the top prizes. If she remains earning at this same rate, she could, however, trade in for a Chipotle gift card by the end of the semester.

Contact Taylor Rogers at [email protected].