Exposure needed for smaller clubs

We’ve all heard the saying “College is the best four years of your life; don’t let it pass you by.” While making sure to do well in your classes is very important throughout your college experience, it would be a wasted four years if you did not become an active member at your university. Though this may be the case, students need to be aware of all of the extra-curricular activities available on campus.

St. John’s provides a wide variety of clubs and activities to help serve just about every interest a student can have, and if an organization doesn’t exist, a student can certainly try to get one started. There are also a wide amount of fundraisers and athletic events held throughout the year.

There is never a day where St. John’s is not having some sort of event that students can meet new people and have a good time.

However, it seems that not too many students are aware of all these events.

Small events held by different clubs and organizations suffer from limited attendance. Many of them are attended by a handful of people, most of whom are responsible for organizing the event itself.
Discussion panels are held in classrooms that most of the time fail to fill every seat. Having an event planned and then see it usually fail in respect to attendance must be devastating to those who
worked so hard on it.

The problem that smaller organizations such as fraternities, sororities, and other clubs face is the battle for promotion. St. John’s does a decent job promoting school-wide events such as the recently held Relay for Life, the discussion panel on next semester’s schedule change, and the Wyclef Jean speech held in February. Fliers are posted around campus, e-mail reminders are sent, and they are spotlighted on the front page of St. John’s web site and STJ Central.

School clubs and organizations, meanwhile, don’t have this type of advantage. For the majority of them, fliers posted around campus are the only type of promotion they receive from St. John’s. Some fortunate organizations are able to have a link posted on St. John’s Central.

Several organizations have taken a proactive approach by creating Facebook and Twitter pages. Through the Internet, they are able to reach a wider range of students and get the word out. Students are more likely to check their favorite social networking web site more times a day then SJU Central. St. John’s also has an official Facebook and Twitter page, though one problem with both sites is that the account tells people about the event only an hour before it starts (not too convenient for commuter students). Most of the time the pages are, again, focusing on school-wide events and constantly posting updates on them rather than the one that a smaller club might get.

St. John’s does have an entire listing of Campus Recreation, athletic, and academic events held on all three campuses in New York. Most students are probably unaware of this or unlikely to visit the web site to help plan out their week. There are also weekly e-mails sent out of by Campus Ministry and Student Life. Even with all of this, students still miss out on different events simply because they fail to learn about them.

Increasing the number of e-mails would only become annoying to students whose inboxes are filled with e-mails from teachers and fellow students. St. John’s has no need to fear its school-wide events failing in attendance. But for fraternities, sororities, international organizations, and school clubs, if they wish to have more participants at their upcoming events, they must find a way to make sure that the word gets out there.