Photo by Alexis Cruz
BY ANNA JENSEN
With new leadership comes new ideas. This year, I am the president of the Student Activities Board, and in the platform I ran on in early March, I outlined wanting to increase the organization’s inclusivity in regards to event planning. I said I wanted to open our events up to the community and to have a dedicated investment to collaboration.
My board has stood behind me on this 100 percent and I am so thankful for their work ethic, their drive to try new things and their eagerness to work with diverse organizations.
One creative idea was brought to the table at one of our executive meetings in mid-September. There had been talk of the buzzword “campus calendar” at the end of the academic year and a member of our marketing team proposed using SAB’s Facebook page as an interim placeholder for a campus calendar.
What it turned into was a promotional tool of sorts. After meetings with members on the marketing team and our advisor, our Marketing Executive Officer sent an email out to all the presidents on Drake’s Simplicity website on Sept. 25. The email sent outlined what we are expecting from organizations when they send us their events and how it will operate on our end.
“We hope this will make greater use of our Facebook page by helping a wide range of diverse campus events reach more students,” Jordan Lundquist, the marketing executive officer, outlined in the email. “In the past, we have only used it for our own purposes, but we see a lot more potential for our page to become a consolidated source of information for students.”
We have been doing this for weeks now, and it seemed to have been going fairly well. I met with members of my board, marketers and programmers alike, to see if there were ways to make the process easier. The word I forgot to throw into the discussion was transparency.
It slipped my mind, along with other SAB executive members’ minds, that only the presidents knew how the process worked on SAB’s end, and if they didn’t share it with their boards and we didn’t share it with campus, people might think we are just grabbing seemingly random Facebook events and deciding to share them. And then, in the wake of trying to be an inclusive hub for all campus activities, we look the opposite: biased and elitist.
So I would like to use this platform to enlighten everyone of our plans going forward for sharing organizations’ events. All we ask is that the events organizations ask us to share are open to all of campus and are already in a Facebook event form — i.e. as a page through which you can invite people that has information in the “about” section. We told all of the organizations that we would post their events the week of, but they could feel free to send it over to us whenever. These event links can be Facebook messaged to the Drake SAB Facebook page or sent over email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the email was sent out, we had two people reply the day after with events: both LEAD and Delta Gamma with their philanthropy week events — almost a month in advance! My marketing executive officer and I were so pumped to see initiative by other student leaders.
They both sent us their Facebook links and we posted LEAD that same week, and we just promoted DG’s events on our page last week. So far, we have posted events from 10 organizations.
Despite our intentions, a few people on campus have expressed the notion that we seem to be favoring certain organizations and we aren’t giving fair promotion. This was a concern from the beginning, but we didn’t want that to stop us from being a stepping-stone for a campus activities calendar. As I also sit on Senate as an executive officer, I can share that while a conversation has been in the works for a calendar since August, a lot of planning, questioning and execution goes into creating one.
On behalf of SAB, I just want to say that we are definitely not favoring any of the events that we are sharing nor are we choosing what events we want to share. It is a first come, first serve basis for posting, and we are working hard to equally promote all the events sent our way.
SAB has a spreadsheet with all the links and information of the events sent to us along with specific days for our marketing team to post them. We may potentially share that link on our Facebook page and make it an open collaboration space for all the presidents to post their events so the rest of campus can see that we post all the events sent our way, in hopes to prove that we are not picking and choosing which events to promote.
The last point I really want to dig into is our collaboration efforts thus far. We have worked with UNITY organizations for our human trafficking event, the drag show, and are hoping to have two more collaborations before the semester is over. Additionally, as we are in the thick of planning for spring semester, we have two collaborations nailed down and at least four more in the works. Our organization values collaboration deeply, especially with UNITY, who is another large event planning organization on campus.
If you want to collaborate with us, please reach out. We will be finalizing our spring schedule soon, but would love to hear your ideas and see what we can work out.
The fourth platform point I ran on back in March was feedback. I want to hear from students and organizations about SAB’s efforts on social media along with discourse on our events. Are students getting what they want from SAB?
We will continue to release surveys, have meetings and send emails to gauge students’ thoughts, but if you have anything you would like to see change within SAB, please shoot me an email. I want to do what’s best for this campus and if you don’t see that happening on our leadership, I will work hard to change that for you.
To promote your event on SAB’s Facebook page, click here.