Local businesses question involvement with OU go card

The Oakland GO Card is receiving mixed reviews from participating local businesses.

The card, which provides discounts to students, staff, faculty and alumni of OU for businesses in Macomb and Oakland county, increases business for some companies and leaves others unsure of their involvement with the program.

According to Linda Shallal, receptionist at Salon 35, located across from OU, the card has boosted business. She believes that overall, participation in the GO Card has been a good way to bring students to the salon.

“I think the kids see that we’re close to the university so they just walk across the street to see us,” Shallal said.  “It works very well for us.”

Troy Farwell, the owner of Om Wellness located in Oxford has had only one customer utilize the discount program and would like to receive more business from the card.

“I think it is a cool idea,” Farwell said of the GO card. “The problem is, I think with a lot of these things, people are like ‘oh nah, not another card.’”

Some business owners are uncertain of what the Student Alumni Association, who is in charge of organizing the GO Card program, has planned for them.

Chris Heeder, owner of Half-Day Café in Rochester Hills, didn’t know that his business was still listed as a participant in the program. He would also like to see more business come in as a result of the card.

“If we do something like this, we want it to be a big deal,” Heeder said.  “We’d like to have people to take advantage of it.”

Dr. Chris Samy, the Medical Director at the Rochester Hills Medical Center, has been disappointed with the way communication between she and the sponsors of the card has been handled.

“The follow-up is very poor,” she said.  “It is a problem with academic institutions.”

The card can be picked up at the Oakland Center Welcome Center, the Center for Student Activities, the Residence Halls Office at 448 Hamlin Hall, the Financial Aid Office, Kresge Library, and the Student Recreation Center as well as various locations at OU-Macomb campuses.

The Student Alumni Association is currently creating new GO Cards for the 2012 year. The new cards will be distributed in January.

The GO Card also has an accompanying app for iPhone and Android users. Vidappe developed an application that alerts users in real-time when they are in the proximity of a participating business.

“We are aware of the app and think that it’s, you know, really a neat enhancement,” Laura Mutz of SAA said.

A list of participating businesses can be found at www.oakland.edu/gocard