Harvard students can enjoy 20 percent off their entire purchase at Boloco Friday. The discount kicks off the Undergraduate Council’s newest initiative—UC Restaurants, a program in which the UC will partner with restaurants in the Cambridge area to provide exclusive discounts to Harvard students.
The deals—which the UC intends to offer twice a month—will be publicized in the UC Weekly, an email that is sent out to the undergraduate body at the beginning of every week. The program is aimed at fostering connections between the undergraduate student body and the surrounding community.
“My hope is that this will provide a new avenue for students to branch out and explore Cambridge while fostering positive relationships between Harvard students and the Cambridge community,” said Nicholas Galat ’13, a Quincy House representative and the chair of the Student Initiatives Committee.
According to Galat, the inspiration for the idea came after talking with friends from other universities who are able to get discounts at local businesses by simply presenting their college ID. But making the idea a reality proved to be quite difficult, he said, and the biggest challenge was building a critical mass of support for the program.
“The idea has been there for quite some time, but last year it stayed within the committee and no one took an active role in going out and talking to people about making it happen,” Galat said. “As the new SIC chair, my first goal this year was to get the ball rolling.”
According to Galat, the program has received a positive response from a variety of restaurants in Harvard Square, and Friday Bolocco will be the first sponsor.
“We are going to limit the program to restaurants for now because we like the idea of groups of students going together to eat outside of the dining halls on weekends,” Galat said. “We really want to encourage engagement outside of main House areas.”
In addition to this new initiative, SIC is also looking to improve student social life by increasing the popularity of the Student Initiated Programs fund, which provides students up to $500 to throw parties in House common spaces. Funds from SIP can be used to purchase alcohol, unlike other party grants. SIP—which received approval last year—is still trying to gain the full support of House Masters.
“We have only been able to successfully host events in four Houses thus far,” Galat said. “But we hope that as we begin to sponsor successful events we will gain support and be able to expand the program into other Houses by the end of the year.”
—Staff writer Rachael Apfel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.