For many students at Penn State, there is often a disconnect between campus life and the surrounding Borough of State College.
More often than not, students are unaware of the local shops and business owners that occupy the area just minutes away from campus and miss out on creating these important connections.
Students Jacky Lau (senior, chemical engineering) and June Huang (junior, economics and mathematics), along with other students have made strides to bridge the gap between student life and local relators through the creation of the Student Union for Perk (SUPERK) Club.
SUPERK serves as a connector agency between student organizations at Penn State and local retailers by arranging special perks for students.
Lau, the president of both the Hong Kong Student Association and SUPERK believes that the organization came together through an idea that was shared by many cultural student clubs at Penn State.
“Both June and I talked about looking for store owners to find discounts for our club members,” Lau said. “After getting there, we realized that wow, since we are in two different clubs, we are in competition with each other. Instead, we thought to collaborate to create one club that can offer discounts to partnering members.”
While many of the founding student organizations involved are cultural clubs, SUPERK wants the club to partner with a variety of clubs, ranging from academic, social, cultural and business.
“We want to provide Penn State students a better life on campus and a better student experience,” Lau said.
In the clubs short existence, partnerships have been established with businesses such as Golden Wok Chinese Restaurant, Woodrings Floral Garden, Lion’s Cut and Kung Fu Tea with plenty more in the works.
While SUPERK is responsible for securing discounts and specials with local business partners, the student clubs simply serve as a way to increase the exposure of local businesses throughout campus by taking advantage of the perks and spreading the word.
For Huang, SUPERK’s vice president, she is excited for the future of the club. “I see our existence as necessary. We are always expanding and every time I talk about the club, people are amazed.”
“SUPERK is a bridge to connect society while still enjoying our life,” Huang said.
Photo credit: Martin Luo