By Justin Metcalf, Staff Writer—
An SGA representative expressed concern about a lack of student engagement with campus events at a recent meeting.
Dominique Malone, SGA vice president, said her concern was sparked by an overall disinterest in campus events that she has noticed among students. These events include movie nights, game nights and other discussion-based events initiated by student organizations.
“As a member of the executive board of several organizations,” Malone said, “I have been a part of creating several events, so I have noticed the lack of engagement.”
Other SGA representatives agreed with her comments, she said. As incentive, they typically offer free food, t-shirts and other giveaways that might catch students’ attention. They wish students would come because they want to, rather than to receive giveaways, she said.
“Many student leaders on this campus sacrifice their time to further the progress of this campus,” Malone said. “It saddens me to know that a handful of students even care to show up to see it.”
Chantelle Swaren, outreach and assessment librarian at the UTC library, holds student-directed events throughout the semester such as library workshops and therapy dog sessions. Many of these events are based on the time of year, she said. For example, there will be an exhibition for Black History Month held later this month. Towards the end of October, they hold a Halloween costume contest. Student attendance at theses events is varied and can be hard to predict, Swaren said.
“It not only depends on the event itself, but it seems to depend on a number of factors,” Swaren Said. “It depends on the time, the date, the weather that day and whatever week we’re in of the semester because some weeks are busier than others.”
To inform students on upcoming events, the library sends out mass emails, posts on social media, puts posters up around campus, lists events on their bathroom newsletter, and updates MocSync, a portal with a calendar for upcoming events and a list of registered student organizations.
“A lot of [the information] is word of mouth,” Swaren said. “For the upcoming black history month exhibition, a lot of the history professors are developing the content for the panel and providing the materials, so they will of course share that information with their students in the classroom.”
Haven Wright, a senior art and psychology major, said she is more likely to attend an event if it is directed towards something that applies to her as a student such as art, psychology or graduate school.
The library uses several methods to hold more events that cater to students’ wants and needs. One method is noticing what students continually do not show up for. If students repeatedly do not show up for an event, it is likely they will not continue to offer it. Librarians also talk with students at these events to get their feedback, Swaren said. To further increase student feedback, the library has an annual survey where students can share their ideas and suggestions for events. Most of the planning for the upcoming year is based on the feedback they get, Swaren said.