UH trading cards big hit among students

September 14, 2012 12:47:17 PM PDT
There are baseball, football and other collectible trading cards, but have you ever heard of a college card? The University of Houston is using card collecting to increase school spirit, and it's putting money back in students' pockets.

"I started collecting after I found out that I had 22 cards," student Bright Yorka said.

They're called Cougar Cards, and there are 56 in all. Showcasing faculty and top University of Houston alumni. And if a student collects all of them...

"I've had three other friends get the scholarships, just because now they stay on campus," student Samantha Halbert said.

That's right. Collect the cards and get up to a $1,000 in scholarship money. So how do you get those valuable cards? By simply attending on-campus events.

"If you just come to university and then go away out into the city of Houston, you're missing out," said Dr. Simon Bott, the mastermind behind the program.

Dr. Bott has always believed a university education is more than what you get in class.

"You've got to be out experiencing things, learning how to deal with people, learning how to deal with different types of people, developing personal qualities and so on," Dr. Bott said.

"Do you guys fee like this is enhancing campus life in someway?" we asked junior Kelly Underkofler.

"I mean, I live on campus and all the events on campus, they always have cards. People want to come out and want to collect cards -- especially with the freshmen. It's a great way to get freshmen involved," she said.

Last year more than 2,200 events on campus gave out cards. This year, even more events are being added.

"I personally didn't think I was going to be involved in school life. But after I found out about this and you could get a scholarship, I started going to more events," junior Melissa Zayid said.

"You get to see what's going on in school, be a part of it, because this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience," student Lan Nguyen said.

And it's not just campus events -- the Cougar trading cards are even helping with class attendance.

"He used to give some cards out in class also, so you would have to attend class and not skip," junior Disha Jan said.

The UH program is believed to be the only one of its kind, a lucrative way to get college students out of their comfort zone, and in to campus life.

"That made me go to athletic events and also meet other people I possilby would not have met. Going to seminars and workshops, and also build that foundation ... and get that school spririt," sophomore Cindy Sanchez said.


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