Indiana State University Newsroom



Campus activities expanding

February 13, 2014

A true college experience is more than classes and books. It's about meeting new people through participation in campus activities. Numerous studies have shown that engaged college students stay in school and complete their degree.

Indiana State University is looking to expand campus activities and develop new programs to connect with its diverse student population. In addition to naming Freda Luers director of campus life and adding a position that will work with residential life to develop weekend programming, the goal is to involve more students in planning and executing activities.

Senior Emily Price has experienced firsthand the benefits of working on programming for her peers. During her time at Indiana State, she has been involved in Homecoming, Spring Week, Alpha Phi fraternity, Residential Life and Union Board.

"I firmly believe that my programming experience has made my time at ISU unique, worthwhile and memorable," said the social work major from Terre Haute. "I've learned how to taken an idea and develop it fully into an event that is attended by as many as 1,200 students. I've learned to engage a community and bring together numerous organizations from different departments and organizations across campus and the Terre Haute community."

Price said that during her first semester at Indiana State she was more of an observer."I really didn't find a passion for programming until the spring semester of my freshman year. I actually didn't enjoy programming until I had my first homecoming parade experience. I remember waking up at 2 a.m. and working with a group of complete strangers. By 10 a.m., I had made over a dozen new friends. I became hooked on programming."

Price's experience is exactly what Carmen Tillery, vice president of student affairs and Brooks Moore, associate dean of students, are hoping to see replicated as the university energizes activities.

"We are strengthening or mission and commitment to students while expanding what we are doing to connect students to one another in order to broaden their campus experience," Tillery said.

"We hope this effort provides more opportunities for students to make things happen," Moore added.

The expansion of student programming at Indiana State University encompasses more than just planning additional activities.

"It's about developing student leaders and providing support to our 280 current organizations on campus," he said.

Support for those student organizations will come in the form of advisement, marketing and event planning services, Moore added.

The marketing office, currently made up of two graphic designers and two communications and marketing specialists, provides students the opportunity to build a portfolio while developing print materials, social media campaigns and event planning for student organizations.

Weekend programming will be expanded, thanks to a partnership with Residential Life and the hiring of alumna Ellen Malito.

"Ellen will work with hall staff and Residence Hall Association (RHA) to develop initiatives and programs to create an experience in students' living rooms," Moore said.

By solidifying this partnership, Moore hopes to see four or five activities doing on every weekend on campus.

"A good guideline of success will be seeing more cars in the parking lots on the weekends," he added, chuckling.

Union Board, under the direction of associate director Kevon Christian, will continue to be a major player in campus programming, planning and hosting a variety of student events, including week-long events associated with Homecoming and Spring Week."Students planning events for other students is what Union Board is all about," Moore said, adding the members will receive more training and mentoring.

Luers, a longtime advisor to Union Board and the student Homecoming committee, will provide overarching leadership over student activities, leadership development, Union Board, campus ministries, icon programs and will support programming for parents and families.

"Our team is committed to lead the campus wide efforts to expand our programming offerings and provide a variety of experiences to enhance our student's learning," she said.

Students gain more than just something to fill their time by participating in campus activities. Participation and leadership experience can be documented on their co-curricular record -- a verified, documented history of internships, professional development, student employment, community service, study abroad, participation in student organizations and athletics.

But the lasting legacy of campus involvement is the transferable skills take into the business world, campus leaders and students say.

"My student programming experience has given me real world experience in team building, delegation and leadership, said Carl Mitchell, a senior communication major from Spencer. "I've had the opportunity to co-host a statewide conference, oversee the homecoming parade, and serve as homecoming coordinator."

Leroy Richardson, a junior psychology major from Washington, D.C., said he's had a similar experience by participating in Union Board.

"I have gained valuable skills in public speaking, organization and delegation," he said. "I've learned how to run an organization and interact with people different than myself."

Price is just one of hundreds of Indiana State students who have grabbed the opportunity to make things happen.

"Being a student programmer gives you the opportunity to leave your mark and make an impact on campus," Price said. "It's an amazing feeling to feel a part of something and participating in student activities allows you to become a part of Indiana State."

 

Photo cutlines:

Emily Price (in the truck) loads non-perishable food items into a Catholic Charities vehicle as part of Union Board's annual Jam the Bus food drive.

Senior Carl Mitchell guides students participating in Homecoming's annual torchlight parade.

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications and Marketing, 812-237-3783 or paula.meyer@indstate.edu

Story Highlights

In addition to naming Freda Luers director of campus life and adding a position that will work with residential life to develop weekend programming, the goal is to involve more students in planning and executing activities.

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