Last October, the Black Student Union (BSU) hosted the first, and so far only, clubroom of the 2013-2014 school year. The event was successful with 70 to 75 people showing up in the forum.
BSU President Serena Hueitt stated that “BSU has the best clubrooms, best turn out” and the attendance was normal for their clubrooms.
Despite the slow start that is natural to most clubrooms, many clubs tend to experience positive feedback and general interest from the student body. If attendance, or at least interest, is guaranteed what has kept other clubs from hosting more clubrooms?
Hueitt explained that there are several steps to planning the event. In addition to struggling for space reservations, an organization also has to fill out forms with OSE and Campus Safety, find a DJ, and promote the event. Maybe it is all the red tape that is preventing student organizations from hosting more clubrooms.
As a result of the lack of evening activity, the Alcohol Awareness and Prevention Committee (AAPC), paired with Residence Life and OSE, have created late night events for students.
A series of activities has been offered throughout the semester as alcohol-free alternatives. Unlike clubrooms, the Late Night events can be found all over campus and even a few places off campus.
Andrees Rivers, an Area Coordinator, explained, “Wherever the students are, that’s where we want to be.”
Other than the Forum, there have been events in the gym, the Klitzberg Pavilion and the Pub.
“Who uses the Pub for a program? We got over 220 people to come,” Rivers said, “that’s unheard of, it was packed in there.”
The key to success seems to be the variety in both the locations and the activities. There has been a carnival, a glow party, a bowling trip and a basketball tournament, to name a few. Feedback from students has had a great impact on the design of events.
Danielle Holmes, another Area Coordinator, explained that comments from surveys in the fall led to the creation of the glow party that occurred at the beginning of this semester.
“We do take the feedback,” Rivers stated, “We want to create programs that people will actually come to.”
Holmes added that they are “trying to figure out unique and crafty ways to use the space that we have.”
Having to plan outside of the Forum has added to the design of some of the events but there is also the goal of appealing to different types of students.
The Scandal viewing party was one way “to offer something that was different. Not everyone is going to go to a party. Not everyone is going to want to go on a trip,” Rivers stated.
The AAPC offers variety while juggling limited resources. Many students, namely RAs and peer mentors, volunteer to staff events. DJ Vince, a familiar face at events, is the most economically wise option. However, the AAPC is always open to suggestions, feasible feedback and student collaboration. BSU collaborated with the March Madness Late Night that was DJ’d by freshman James McLamb. The Music House co-hosted the Battle of the Sexes event.
Rivers explained that “students have a lot of power at any school and students need to know that. Students are the priority.”
Student interest and positive feedback has helped with the continuation of the events. Holmes and Rivers hope that the budget that allows these events will be reallocated in the upcoming year. With another budget, there can be more and different events.
While Rivers stated interest in more off-campus trips and maybe a pool party, Holmes would like to “see how much money we can get so we can see how big we can dream.”
As of right now, remaining energy will be focused on the last Late Night of the semester, a trip to Thunderhead Lanes on April 26.