By Kristen Miller
Eastern may have one more achievement to add to its list of accomplishments. Eastern’s campus has been nominated as one of the top five campuses of the year when it comes to activities programming.
The nationwide contest nomination, which comes from Campus Activities Magazine, focuses on how many events a school has per year, how many students show up and how the money that is given is used, according to a press release from Feb. 1.
The nomination is for all campus activities organizations, which includes Student Activities Council and Student Life.
Brandee Petrey, director of student involvement and leadership, said SAC and Student Life are two separate entities that work very closely together.
Assistant Director of Student Involvement Lonnie Scott was the person who submitted the nomination.
Scott said Eastern keeps records of the events and how many people attend.
The numbers were used from last year to compare to previous years and that’s where the nomination came from.
Last year, there were about 150 events overall on campus and student participation was about 31,000, Petrey said.
Last fall semester, Student Life events brought in about 10,000 participants.
One of the reasons Eastern was nominated for the contest was because of a definite increase in event participation from past years.
Last year alone there was a 123-percent increase in involvement, Petrey said.
“It’s something I like to brag about,” Petrey said.
One of the other categories that went into determining contest nominees was how funds are used for student activities.
SAC receives funds from the university while Student Life receives action agenda funds, Petrey said.
These go toward programming that benefits not only Eastern, but also the Richmond community.
Thursday Alternative Getaway, or TAG, is one of the events the action agenda funds are used for, because it promotes low risk behavior on a Thursday night when many students go out and drink.
For SAC, its money goes toward things such as Weekenders and campus concerts.
There are many methods campus activity organizations use to gather involvement in their activities.
“Overall, we try and use basic marketing campaigns,” Petrey said.
This includes simple word of mouth, flyers posted around campus and even events posted on Facebook.
But one thing that always seems to draw people in is the promise of free food.
“It’s always a big incentive,” Petrey said.
Eastern hosts many events during the semester and there are some that are usually steady in gathering a big crowd.
Petrey said the Halloween Ball, which is sponsored by SAC, is very heavily attended. This event can be expected to bring in about 500 people, Petrey said.
For Student Life, the TAG bingo nights are usually sure to bring in the crowds.
“We know to expect at least 300 people if not more,” Petrey said. “Students seem to enjoy them.” Petrey said that is the reason why events like bingo keep coming back.
One Night Stand comedy series are also popular events but maybe not as steadily popular as bingo nights. Petrey said they may have a full house one night and then a small number the next time around.
“It really varies,” she said.
Seasonal events in the past, such as Get Leid before Spring Break, have brought in more than 500 people, Petrey said. She also pointed out SAC’s success with their country concerts, such as Old Crow Medicine Show.
Lonnie Scott said Western Michigan University, Keuka College in New York, Ohio State University and University of Pittsburgh Bradford are the schools that rank above Eastern.
Eastern won’t know how it fares against the four other schools until March when it’s announced at a conference in Atlanta.