If showing school spirit is so important, why not make it more affordable?

Hollis Zepp, Columnist

When I first found out that I get a discount on campus when using my meal plan, I thought that it applied to everything on campus I could possibly purchase. What I later found out was that not only was the discount different at different locations, but it didn’t apply at all at the Wildcat Shop. 

The way the discounts work are as follows: students get 65% off any dining locations and 25% off at cafes and markets. These numbers were found on the CWU website. This helps make students feeding themselves more affordable, especially since for most freshmen this is their first time living on their own. Students also have the option to add wildcat bucks to your account, which still gives students a discount but at a lesser value. 

The only way students can use their connection cards in the Wildcat Shop is at the beginning of the quarter, when students have the option to student charge items to their account. When items get student charged, which means that charge is added on to the amount that you pay for your tuition. This is helpful for some students, but it doesn’t change the fact there is no discount.

If the discount applied to the Wildcat Shop, there would be more sales. I personally would go into the Wildcat Shop much more often if I knew that items would be less expensive than they are. The reason that the clothes are so expensive is because of the brands, such as Nike and Under Armour. 

For example, last quarter I paid $70 for a pair of Under Armour wildcat sweatpants, and I haven’t been back in there since. If the 25% discount had been applied, that would have been down to $52.50, which while still being expensive, is much more reasonable. 

On the Wildcat Shop website, there is the option to browse clothes by brand; one brand included is Columbia. A black waterproof Columbia jacket is $99.95, whereas a CWU windbreaker is priced at $64.95. You always hear about how important school spirit is, but how can we be expected to have school spirit when everything is so expensive?

Now you may be thinking that I am only looking at the items that are usually overpriced, but this isn’t the case. A pair of women’s Nike running shorts are $38.95, and the Nike tank tops are all in the $30 range. These items are more commonly needed, and I know that I personally would buy more school spirit apparel if I got a discount, which would make the decision easier for me. 

On the Nike website, women’s running shorts are $30, which is cheaper than the Wildcat Shop. Why should students pay $9 more just for their school logo, when they are already paying tuition, fees, housing and for food? Nike tank tops on their website are $20, which is cheaper than the Wildcat Shop as well. 

As for the Columbia apparel, the waterproof raincoat that is the closest match to what is in the Wildcat Shop is $90. The windbreakers are a base price of $60, and then if you want a heavier duty coat the prices increase from there, and all of this is on the Columbia website.

No matter the brand, the Wildcat Shop raises the prices on the apparel that they are selling. What students are paying extra for is the Wildcat logo. But if the prices were discounted for connection cards, then there would be more students repping Wildcat pride, and showing their love for CWU.