Meagan VerbillionQ: How do you plan to represent the interests of the student body in your programming?
I want to take SAC to the next level and focus more on the interests of all of the students of Eastern and not just one group or genre of individuals. I plan to do this by first focusing on spending money instead of making money. SAC is given a hefty budget and some events are looked at in the sense that they will make money. We aren’t given a budget to make money, just to spend that money wisely. That being said, I want to host a variety of programs that can reach out to all spectrums of the student body; from religion, to politics, to different varieties of music, and to education. I also want to continue to bring programs that are diverse and controversial – programs that can have an impact on a student’s daily life. When you break it down to the very basic level, it is the Student Activities Council. The first word says it all, we are here for the students, and my main goal is to focus on what the students want and to do what it takes for them to feel at home here at Eastern through the programs and events we hold on campus.
Q: Historically, surveys have not been successful in reaching students interests. How else can you find out what students want?
You can find out what students want by a variety of things, such as;word of mouth, what events show success and which ones don’t, by talking to other RSO’s, by increasing the level of PR within the student body and, believe it or not, by surveys. Surveys have not historically been successful because they have not been given the proper ingredients to be successful. A survey that is well worded and well formulated can reach out to many students if given enough time to work. If you only allow a survey to be out for a month, you aren’t going to get a great response, but if it’s out for four or five months, more students will get around to filling it out and you will get a wider range of the student population’s opinions.
Q. How do you plan to represent the interests of the student body in your programming?
I want to select an abundant amount of very different types of programming. I would like to provide community outreach programs like Habitat for Humanity. Focus on environmental issues like a campus-wide Earth Hour. Provide more intellectual and controversial speakers and events on the issues of religion, sex, racism and politics. Choose bands and musicians from distinctly diverse music genres.
Q. Please name one of your goals for Student Activities Council and describe your plan to accomplish that goal?
One of my goals, which SAC has been actively pursuing, is to schedule events several months ahead of time and eventually a semester ahead. Many other schools already do this and I want to get Eastern on board. By scheduling ahead of time at events like National Associations for Campus Activities, SAC will be able to create blocks with other schools. A block would allow for lower programming costs, which would help bring additional activities to campus.
Q. Historically, surveys have not been successful in reaching student’s interests. How else can you find out what students want?
Surveys are highly appropriate forms of research by businesses. Therefore, SAC could conduct online surveys, random telephone surveys, focus groups or a combination of two. However, I believe by having a diverse group of students in SAC in the upcoming year, there will be a variety of interests and opinions. Regardless, if SAC chooses an array of different programming it should reach many student interests.
Q. What have you learned from past leadership experiences that you can bring to SAC?
I have played many roles in student government, and learned many things. I think my most important lesson came this year through my first time as a vice president. Finding the right people to work with and providing them with the proper resources to do their jobs is more important than one could imagine. You have to know who is best suited for what positions and how to work with those people. Some people need to be constantly reminded and hovered over to finish a task. Some people need space to work and are turned off by reminders. Some SGA members are great legislators, but lack the motivational or communicative skills to step up to certain leadership positions. Being able to decipher who fits best where is imperative for someone responsible with such a mammoth task of providing programming for the student body of EKU.
Q. Historically, surveys have not been successful in reaching students interests. How else can you find out what students want?
Surveys have not been successful because they have been poorly written and implemented. As a broadcaster and graphic designer, I have extensive advertising experience and know how to connect with different groups. People come in all different shapes and sizes, even on our campus. Broad advertisers label us the “college crowd,” but we are much more diverse than that. In order to connect with everyone, we must try multiple avenues. Putting a survey online and hoping people log on to take it is ineffective. However, having mobile labs all over campus and offering students a free lunch for taking our survey is effective. Also, asking students at our events what they want with comment cards and human interaction is key.