Attendance at on-campus events lacking for some organizations

November 8, 2012 6:00 AMComments Off

Drake University students pass them every day on their way to go get their morning coffee, or when they are frantically printing off a paper in Olmsted Center — the countless posters advertising various activities and speakers that are coming to campus in the near future.

There are always a variety of options for students. Just this week the opportunities ranged from “Engaged Buddhism: A Panel Discussion” to a documentary film called “MISS Representation” to a fall-themed art show.

Unfortunately, there is little student participation in a lot of these events. At a recent career panel, there were only six students who showed up.

Often times professors encourage students through mandatory attendance or strong suggestion. However, not all of the campus’ events have the benefit of that kind of incentive.

As a business major, first-year Madeline Kasra, attends speakers that focus on entrepreneurship and potential careers.

“What I find extremely beneficial, being a first-year, I am not exactly sure what I want to do,” Kasra said. “It is interesting to see different aspects of the business world.”

The Student Activity Board generally has a high turnout at its events. How does accomplish this?

“Typically we do about 75 posters around campus,” said SAB President junior Carly Kinzler. “We usually try to get those up a week and a half in advance and make them different to catch people’s eye.”

Social media also plays a large role in its success. SAB has around 1,850 people on Facebook and almost 1,000 followers on Twitter, with a goal to reach 2,000 by the end of the year.

“Another thing we have done is social media challenges where we get students to tag themselves in the poster that we put on our Facebook wall. That way, when they tag themselves it shows up on their Facebook wall and all of their friends newsfeeds and then they are entered to win, for example, a gift card,” Kinzler said.

It also has a whole staff dedicated to the marketing of their events, including a marketing executive officer, graphic designers, a public relations chair, an organizational development subdivision and a first-year marketing representative.

Next time you meander past those posters in the stairwell of Meredith Hall, the bulletin board of your residence hall or the Olmsted Breezeway, you may want to stop and take a look at what opportunities are available. There are great opportunities to learn more about a different culture, a potential career, or a prevalent issue, and it generally requires just as much time of a time commitment as tuning into watch the latest episode of “Glee” or “How I Met Your Mother.”

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