Finals Week Vouchers: Gone Within 24 Hours

Gabrielle Bossart, Reporter

The semester is rapidly coming to a close, no doubt to the beat of several final papers, projects, and exams. Finals week and the weeks leading up to it are often incredibly stressful and warrant the need to schedule in time for meaningful rest and relaxation. Student involvement here on campus works to meet that need by offering free vouchers for local restaurants and activities. This semester, there were five vouchers available for finals week: Zen River Yoga, River Cinema, Cherry Berry, Jersey Mikes, and Ray Richards Golf Course.  

Unfortunately, with no notice of limited availability, the vouchers were gone within a single day of being available. Originally, the vouchers were supposed to be available for pickup from the 1st to the 5th of May, but early on the morning of May 2nd, students who went to pick up their finals week treat were disappointed to find that they were already gone. 

Some students were upset or even angry at the lack of vouchers. One student told me, “I was peeved, I was looking forward to using them.” Perhaps the student body would be less disappointed if the voucher’s limited availability was advertised. Usually, when student involvement hosts an event, they make it clear that the event is available “while supplies last,” or is “first come, first serve.” However, no such warning was given for the finals week vouchers. Most of the time, individual vouchers do not go so quickly. River Cinema movie vouchers are offered frequently, along with other small business offerings such as Tea and Crepe, and those single vouchers are typically plentiful and available up to the last day of their offering.  

It is likely that these vouchers went so quickly due to their enticing offerings. Not often are students able to get a free round of golf, a free movie, free yoga, and free food, all in one swing. With the weather warming up, golf and frozen yogurt likely sounded especially wonderful. However, many were still shocked by how quickly the vouchers were gone. A student told me that after hearing the news, they inquired about many vouchers that were obtained and were answered with two thousand. Considering that around eight to nine thousand students attend classes in person in some capacity, many were disappointed. 

It is not clear why so few vouchers were obtained. Perhaps student involvement underestimated student interest. They might also have run into understandable budget issues and were only able to obtain a certain amount. Maybe local businesses put a cap on how many they could offer due to resource restrictions. Whatever the reason, the result was disappointing.  

If the budget was a concern, perhaps reducing the value of the coupons or offering less would ensure more availability. It is also likely that some students will not use all five vouchers, so perhaps allowing students to choose which they would like to have and leave ones they know they will not use would give other students the chance at a voucher. Offering them separately is another way to encourage students to only take what they will use. In any case, for students who were disappointed, the lesson is that the early bird gets the worm. Don’t wait to pick up your vouchers! 


Gabrielle Bossart is a Dakota Student Section Editor. She can be reached at [email protected].