The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Student Engagement Up

Student+Engagement+Up

The number of students attending events on campus has increased more than 300% in the past four years, according to officials in student engagement.

Documents from the Office of Student Engagement show that much of the success has to do with the MVP student reward program, which gives students points for attending different events on campus and allows them to claim prizes at the end of every semester based on how many points they’ve accumulated.

“Since being implemented in September of 2009, the MVP Rewards Program has been credited as increasing overall student engagement in the areas of Athletics and Evening & Weekend Programming,” the document said.

Vice-president of Student Government, Inc., Oscar Diaz, who oversees the 10 standing committees on student engagement, including the school spirit committee and RedZone, said that while he thinks the MVP program was an essential factor in the jump in numbers; he also thought that an increase in school spirit was also a driving factor.

“The MVP program is a good incentive,” he said. “I think a lot of what it is, is an improved sense of pride in the school. People want to participate more and not just come to classes for the whole four years.”

During the program’s first year,  2009-10, close to two thousand unique students participated. In the previous school year, the total number of unique students who participated doubled.

In 2011, 99 percent of the freshman class participated in at least one event that offered MVP points.

During the 2010-11 school year, the second year of the MVP program, event attendance during the weekend increased 170%.

Since his freshman year, Diaz has worked on multiple aspects of student engagement, starting with being a volunteer on the school spirit committee, and eventually becoming the chair of the committee last year. Diaz has also worked with RedZone in organizing free giveaways at home games as well as away trips.

Diaz said his new role would allow him to try and continue the upward trend.

“As Vice President, I’m now overseeing the 10 standing committees, as opposed to just being the chair on just one,” he said. “I’ll have a wider sense on what’s going on.”

Diaz, now a junior, said he has personally seen the number of students attending these events slowly increasing throughout the past two years.

“It’s been a very progressive number,” he said.

Diaz said seeing an increase in school spirit in the collective student body also helped to make him feel a deeper sense of pride in his school.

“I love seeing St. John’s pride increase,” he said. “It makes me more proud to be a Johnnie.”

Diaz showed excitement in the jump in numbers, and said that he hoped that the trend would continue in the next two years.

“I love the direction that we’re moving in.”

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About the Contributor
Anthony O'Reilly
Anthony O'Reilly, News Editor
Anthony has been one of the most, if not the most, loyal person at this paper. His passion and his dedication to reporting and production is unparalleled. In the last few weeks, he has demonstrated the qualities of a leader and a coach that are required for this position. I have nothing but confidence that Anthony will do a great job. He will serve you, the reader, by providing the most honest, objective news possible. —Terence Cullen News Editor, Emeritus
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