This fall, six Brooklyn College students were among the top 10 winners of the CUNY Athletics StudentsFirst Rewards.
In 2013, CUNY Athletics began the StudentsFirst Rewards to increase student attendance and participation at CUNY Athletics Conference tournaments. The program is based on a point system, in which the top two point recipients receive the grand prize of free tuition from CUNY Athletics and Municipal Credit Union (MCU) for the following school year. The winners are then invited to a suite section at MCU Park at Coney Island to watch the Cyclones play.
Brooklyn College student Daniel Weiss won second place in this year’s competition. He emphasised how the program is very different from other scholarship organizations who demand so much from participants.
“What’s different is if you want to win this, you’re in it yourself. They’re going to pick whoever gets the most points. If you commit to going, you’ll win. No one gets preferential treatment,” Weiss said. “It’s not like one of those things where there’s this crazy bureaucracy where you have to go to this department, get this document signed, none of that.”
Weiss earned a total of 805 points, enough for second place. First place was awarded to York College student Christopher Todd, who recorded 830 points for the year. The list of awards changes every year for participants, although the top two prizes remain the same. Winners can receive an HP laptop, a Samsung tablet, a Bose speaker, a Fitbit bracelet, a Chromecast, or a CUNY gift bag. The games earn participants an average of 10 to 50 points, but students who purchase their tickets early earn double the points.
According to Weiss, there’s a day throughout the semester where students can double their points by attending both the softball and baseball games in Staten Island. “The big day is when baseball and softball are in Staten Island. They’re the same day right next to each other, so you have to go to both tablets and get your ticket scanned to double your points,” Weiss said.
Over the last five years, the program has seen an increased attendance at a number of CUNYAC Championships. The top ten point-getters this year averaged 537 points, making this year the highest average yet and besting last year’s average of 474.5 points. As the program continues to gain attention, more competition will be seen, as more participants will be aiming to accumulate the most points for that top prize.
“Boy, could you imagine how little work I just did to win this, versus the people who are filling out stacks of paperwork? And they might not even get it,” said Weiss.
To earn prizes, students must sign up at CUNYAthletics.com under “championships”, lick on “Free Tickets,” and follow the registration steps. Participants must also follow the game schedule from the CUNY Athletic Conference website, in order to receive points.