Card-less students are disadvantaged

Eight hundred GW students have not yet received their promised Student Advantage membership cards, slated as part of the GWorld card program initiated in August, Student Advantage Marketing Manager Erik Geisler said this week.

Geisler said he learned of the problem last week when the number of calls from GW students increased to a level that attracted the attention of Student Advantage operators.

Officials in the GWorld card office and Student Advantage said Wednesday they do not know how the mistake was made. GWorld Manager Michele Neyers denied any oversight on the part of the GWorld card office.

AT&T officials said they do not know where the snafu occurred.

“We work with AT&T, but what they do with Student Advantage is separate,” Neyers said.

Student Advantage will distribute temporary membership cards, valid through the end of November, to students with proof of AT&T calling card membership on the back of their GWorld cards. Students can pick up their temporary cards Thursday through Monday, Oct. 27 in the GWorld office, Student Advantage Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager Jared Marber said.

Student Advantage will mail proper membership cards in two weeks, Marber said.

“This is the first time (we’ve had a problem mailing the cards out),” Geisler said. “We’ve done this at 10 colleges already.”

When GWorld cards were distributed during the first weeks of school, AT&T offered GW students Student Advantage membership if they signed up for the company’s student calling card.

In mid-September, Student Advantage began sending membership cards to students, Geisler said. The company mailed nearly 4,000 cards.

Student Advantage and AT&T are affiliated through AT&T’s Campus Card program.

Students who have received their cards are taking advantage of some of the benefits it offers.

“I’m going on a trip in a few weeks and I’m planning on using (my Student Advantage card) for 50 percent off a hotel,” freshman Peri Bombart said.

Other students, like freshman Nick Palmer, “haven’t really used it yet.”

As an apology for the problems that have occurred, Student Advantage will offer members half-price tickets to the Nov. 15 Washington Wizards basketball game versus the Orlando Magic and the Nov. 22 Washington Capitals hockey game versus the San Jose Sharks, Marber said.

Interested students should watch for on-campus advertising about purchasing tickets, he said.

“We feel it’s up to us to make this work,” Geisler said.

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