By Jasmine Huang
The Sewanee Union Theatre [also known as the “SUT”] officially changed its payment policy from accepting cash only to include credit and debit cards. Despite its vintage atmosphere and cushioned seats, the SUT’s decision proves that the venue is still up to date with the latest technology.
The SUT originally persisted with cash only because of a variety of reasons including difficulty with new payment systems and low prices. According to SUT employee Jack Lance (C’19), “We briefly tried last year for domain dollars but the system wasn’t working very well and we didn’t have a cohesive training program for it.” He added, “The students and residential members of the community would only pay three or four dollars, so it was just easier to go on cash.”
The limited payment policy proved to be problematic over time, as most audience members didn’t always carry cash.
“I know it for myself that I never have cash, so in order to come see a movie, people have to pay with a twenty which causes us a lot of trouble actually as well,” said Sewanee’s Coordinator for Student Activities Suvi Piipponen. After considering feedback from other people alongside her own experiences, Piipponen decided to initiate the conversation for the SUT to start accepting credit and debit cards.
The commitment to change the SUT’s procedure was a well thought-out one pushed primarily by Piipponen. After visiting the University’s treasurer office and setting up various meetings, Piipponen was able to bring a card reading system of tablets to the SUT.
Since October 14, the SUT has been taking credit and debit cards alongside its usual cash and checks. Although there were a few technical difficulties connecting the tablets to wifi during the first week, the SUT is well within the works to opening up its opportunities. As Piipponen says, “More options means more business.”