Creating a thriving community of entertainment on campus is a daunting task. The University of Akron, Ohio has been able to provide such a community on their campus over the years and continues to be a great example for all those who work in the field. With so many various activities available to the college student, programmed events need to have an edge in order to gain the interest of the student community. Tiffany Schmidt adds, “Creating a consistency among events has been an incredible way to keep students engaged in our various activities. We have anywhere from three to five events every week, not including films. By keeping times and venues consistent, students know where and when our events are held on a weekly basis, thus increasing attendance.” Jeffry Renert contributes, “Keeping the same time table for our events helps with our promotions. We don’t have to worry about students not knowing what time or where an event is held because we keep everything we do consistent.” Planning this many events takes a collaborative effort from both the Akron staff and the student board members. With so many different events taking place each semester, organization and the delegation of tasks is ever important. Like many campuses, Akron uses social media as a way to promote events and outreach programs to the student body. Facebook and Twitter are great ways to promote events, but also creating youtube videos and photo galleries to build excitement about events can be effective.
This is not the first time The University of Akron has taken home this award. The most recent was in 2010
The University of Akron’s programming comes from two separate boards. First is a student organization called the Residence Hall Program Board, which plans and coordinates such activities as Welcome Weekend, Sibs Weekend, the 7:17 Coffeehouse Series, the 9:09 Entertainment Series, Residence Life Cinema, road trips and HallFest. The students also bring to campus comedians and entertainers and they plan special lectures, social programs, movie nights and events at the Recreation Center, E.J. Thomas Hall and the Student Union.
The zIPS Programming Network covers all the action that goes on in the bustling student union. They also book everything from music and comedy to novelties and games. zPN is the more active organization when it comes to campus-wide activities and entertainment. “zPN is also a recognized student organization on campus and they are structured with a president and chairs for the specific www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com
areas they program.”
Programming at Akron can be a little tricky due to its diverse age range on campus. Nearly 30% of Akron’s students are over the age of 24, thus classified as non-traditional students. When designing programs targeted at these students, both their busy schedules and their families must be kept in mind. These events usually take place later in the evening or on weekends to accommodate the schedules and their families.
The University of Akron is undoubtedly one of the most active college campuses in the nation when it comes to programming activities. Director Tom Faessel and his trusted staff and student board members are well-known faces around the national conference scenes. They have also been featured numerous times in Campus Activities Magazine®. Perhaps most importantly, they have led the nation in the amount of submitted Artist Report Cards over the last few years. The Artist Report Cards are the best way to get an accurate assessment on how an artist performed at a given show on a specific campus. The Artist Report Card form is available to everyone on our website at CampusActMag.com. We strongly encourage every school to submit these forms as way to provide reputable information as to how well artists perform on your campus. Once again we would like to commend The University Of Akron for their outstanding participation with the Artist Report Cards and encourage all schools to follow their example. A special thanks to Tom Faessel for playing such an active role in making campus programing a fun and educational experience for all those involved. And a special congratulations to everyone involved with programming at Akron for their Campus Program of the Year award this year in Campus Activities Magazine®. RUNNER-UP: METHODIST UNIVERSITY
Student Activities is responsible for planning & implementation of all student entertainment and activities
held at Methodist University. This includes comedians, novelty acts, homecoming, Spring Fling and movies. All full-time students are encouraged to participate in this open organization. Involvement in campus programs and activities is vital to a well-rounded education experience.
CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MAGAzINE®, APRIL 2012, 25