Lent '96 leads Green Card merger
Taran Lent '96, vice president of the Hanover Green Card, is leading the Green Card's overhaul of the DASH office.
Lent said his interest in the Green Card -- a debit card available to students for use at local businesses -- began his sophomore spring.
"I was literally one of the very first card members," Lent said.
He filled out his application, corrected the spelling mistakes he found on it and went into the fledgling Green Card office to turn in the corrected form and offer his help.
Mitch Jacobs '94, founder and president, called on him many times thereafter.
Lent returned to Hanover the summer of his junior year, both for football training and as an intern in the Green Card office.
He went on to be one of the football team's co-captains his senior year, playing outside linebacker. His love for football and the College now has him doing color commentary for WFRD-FM 99 Rock during the Fall season.
While at the College, Lent studied engineering and wrote his honors thesis in systems engineering. He said he used the Green Card "as a playing ground." When he graduated in June 1996, he took "four or five days off" and then began working full time for the Green Card.
Jacobs said Lent "is really in touch with what students want."
Lent's greatest skill is problem solving, Jacobs said.
He "figures out how to get around the constraints" which exist because of the College, Jacobs said.
"He's also realistic," he added.
The merger of DASH and the Green Card, which began the first of this month, is not the only project in the works, Lent said.
Although he said the merger is his main focus right now -- he even eats at Food Court because he spends so much time in Thayer Dining Hall -- he also has two other important projects: the Community Card and the Wild Card.
The Community Card serves as a Green Card for members of the community. It offers many of the same services, but tailored to non-College students.
Examples of Community Card users include employees of local businesses such as EBAs and Ramuntos, as well as College staff and junior high and high school students. The Community Card is undergoing "passive pilot tests" and has a membership of approximately 400 to 500 cardholders.
When asked why they did not begin the Community Card project earlier, Lent simply said "we just didn't realize there would be a marketplace in the general community."
The Wild Card, almost a mirror of the Green Card, is presently being tested for students at the University of New Hampshire.
The work that Lent is doing with the Dartmouth administration will prove useful at UNH as well, Lent said.
"We already have a dialogue with the administration" at UNH "about beginning a similar program," he said.
Lent said he "loves what we do" at the Green Card and his primary goal with the merger is "making sure we succeed."
"In six months to a year, we want people to say this is better than where we are today," Lent said.