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By Claire Cameron
New ways to get involved in the Waco community, and even a chance to win a free iPad, are just a few things Passport To Waco has to offer.
The program is organized by External Vice President Lexington Holt, who wanted to get Baylor students more involved in the area outside of Baylor.
“A major part of being in a community is being involved in it, and that’s what I hope this program does for students,” Holt said.
Passport to Waco was originally started three years ago but Holt said, it was not very successful.
This year, the program is being revamped and includes not only Baylor, but also McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College.
Holt said she has been working on improving the program since June of this year.
Holt said the “passport” is a booklet with various foods, clothing and other stores around Waco where students can go and, if they purchase something, they can get a stamp for that store. If they complete the entire booklet by the end of the program and turn it back in to the student government office, they will automatically be entered to win an iPad.
“Students can also win various prizes along the way, like $10 gift cards or discounts on merchandise,” Holt said.
The program launches Tuesday and students can pick up a booklet at the student government office. The program ends March 31.
“It’s my baby,” she said. “I just love everything about it, and the best part is it’s going to be a tri-campus program.”
Holt said she is looking forward to future collaboration with the other campuses.
“If this program accomplishes one thing, I hope it brings all three campuses and their student bodies together,” she said.
Holt said she wanted to really bring together the three campuses and make Baylor students more aware of the other college students in Waco.
“Passport To Waco will get students outside of Baylor and its reach,” Holt said. “You see the community and it becomes more visible and then we won’t see each other as separate entities anymore.”
Holt said she believes this project will be vital in getting Baylor students more involved in the community.
“I want to make a difference,” Holt said. “Passport to Waco encompasses everything I’m supposed to do, and it makes me happy.”
Another improvement to the program is the number of businesses involved in the program.
Some of the businesses involved in the program are Smash Burger, Congress Clothing, What About Cupcakes and more.
“With more businesses, it’s better and has more value for students. It’s bigger and more profound,” Holt said.
Outdoor Waco is one of the many businesses involved in the program.
“I really like the idea of Baylor and downtown Waco getting connected,” said Trinity Robb, general manger for Outdoor Waco.
Robb said he was hoping to see more Baylor students and students from the other schools coming in and hanging out.
“In the past, there was the stereotype of the Baylor Bubble, and that’s not the most beneficial,” he said. “This is really exciting in general and we wanted to be a part of that.”
Holt said she hopes the program will get more students all over Waco connected to the community and one another.
Once the program launches and the booklets are out, Holt said she suggests getting dessert at Lula Jane’s on Elm Street.
“The deserts are homemade and delicious,” Holt said. “It’s like eating a cloud.”
Holt said the program offers students not only a chance at getting discounts off their next bike rentals, but also a chance to explore and discover new opportunities around Waco.
“The program was created to get students more involved in Waco because it’s an interesting place,” Holt said.