In an effort to continue weekly programs and activities for resident students, the Office of Campus Activities has developed a program called “This Thursday,” where students gather every Thursday night from 9:30 to midnight to participate in various events like bingo, karaoke and forums.
“It’s really to keep the resident students on campus and to give them something to do on a Thursday night,” Mary Pelkowski, the director of Campus Activities, said. “It’s a way to have them all try and hang out together.”
Although the program was launched last November during late night dining hours, Pelkowski said that the attendance is still about 200 to 300 students despite that late night dining no longer occurs. She said most of the ideas for the events come directly from student suggestions.
“We asked the residents what they wanted in the beginning of the semester by surveying what types of programs and activities residents wanted,” she said. “Many people wrote bingo, pool tables, opera and Broadway shows. We have answered all of them.”
“As of right now, we got huge feedback from Bingo,” Stacey Merle, the assistant director of Campus Activities, said. “They were like, ‘can we do it again next month?'”
Bingo was held on Oct. 10 and prizes ranged from season basketball tickets in the student section, two tickets to RENT on Broadway, T-shirts and hats from the athletic department and a $5 dollar off coupon for the C-Store.
Students also were able to choose 10 of their favorite songs and have them burned on to a CD on Sept. 26 at the “Make-a-Mix” event.
“We had such a waiting list that the girl from the company had to take the waiting list home and make the CDs,” Pelkowski said. “I had close to 100 disks when the residents came to pick them up that Friday morning.”
Future events include karaoke on Nov. 14 and the “History of Step,” co-sponsored with Haraya, the Pan African Students Coalition, on Nov 21. “The event is an informative gathering but also interactive because students will be taught how to step,” Merle said. “If student groups want do something on Thursday night, they are more than welcome to tie into our program.”
Although the program has been a success, advertising the events has been the greatest challenge, Pelkowski said.
“Every RA gets a ‘This Thursday’ Flyer in their mailbox, every RD gets an e-mail and every building gets a poster in the door. The problem is people do not get a chance to see it,” she said.
Despite the challenge, the student feedback on the events has been promising as well.
“I went to bingo night,” said Daria Chiarello. “It was great and there was a really good turnout.”
Chris Coes, president of the Residence Hall Association, has helped out at and supported many of the events.
“‘This Thursday’ has been a growing event,” he said. “I have been to every one since the first one and it [the attendance] depends upon the event. The program as a whole has proven a success.”
The Office of Campus Activities will continue programs like these and will hand out surveys during the next few weeks to see what the students want to do again or if they want to try something new in the spring semester.
Bingo is one program that has already been selected and will probably be held in the middle of the spring semester.
“From those surveys we plan the semester,” Pelkowski said. “The ‘This Thursday’ program is directly what the residents wanted.”
Suggestions and comments about “This Thursday” can be e-mailed to [email protected]