Council creates small events to build campus community

The Programming Council is banking on the success of smaller programs to create more interactive events on campus.

The Programming Council is trying a new concept this year – small-scale programs at the Brown-Lupton University Union – to promote a sense of community on campus, a representative from Student Activities said.

Brad Thompson, student activities coordinator, said the concept was designed to create smaller, more interactive and engaging programming for students in the BLUU on a regular basis.

“I think a lot of times we think the only way to be successful is with these huge massive events,” Thompson said. “A lot of times they are a very passive experience.”

The smaller programs are designed to create an opportunity for people who do not have a lot to do on Thursday or Friday nights, said Thompson, a TCU graduate.

“Instead of just hanging out in their room by themselves, they can meet new people and interact and build a community,” Thompson said.

Programs this semester include cooking demonstrations, dance lessons, sushi making and Japanese calligraphy, Thompson said, noting that the goal is to get these kinds of programs to occur once a week in the BLUU.

“We really want traffic through this building,” Thompson said. “It becomes a place where people can hang out.”

Sophomore political science and strategic communications major Kaitlyn Van Gorkom, a Programming Council officer, said the sushi-making and Japanese calligraphy programs are going to be a part of the Japanese calligraphy and culture event scheduled for Oct. 22. The Programming Council is inviting Zing, the university’s sushi chef, to do a sushi demonstration for the program, Van Gorkom said.

Van Gorkom said the Japanese calligraphy and culture event is budgeted for $600. She said the budget varies depending on the program.

Programming Council is approaching the new concept by comparing each event to a house, Thompson said. Big events, like concerts and Howdy Week, are considered “front yard” programs, he said.

“A kitchen program is smaller and more interactive,” Thompson said. “We want that mentality.”

Freshman economics and finance major Sean Carson said he would be more willing to go to smaller events.

“If there are smaller events, it makes it a little easier to go,” Carson said. “There’s more options, and it’s less hectic.”

Thompson said the smaller programs will help the Programming Council better spend its money and will enable members to market better.

“Sometimes I think the most creative programming is from small budgets,” he said.

One way the Programming Council plans to publicize its events is to partner with other campus organizations, Thompson said.

Programming Council also plans on eliminating the use of mass e-mails and an excessive number of posters, Thompson said. Upcoming programs will be promoted on Facebook and Twitter, he said.

“Word of mouth is the best way,” Thompson said. “I think it’s more honest. It connects people better, versus the poster or a mass e-mail.”