By Evelin Rivera-Cabral, Staff Writer
Cartoon: By Anna Higgs, Staff
Attendance at PPCC extra-curricular events can be spotty, but it isn’t always clear why.
Often, the problem is simply that PPCC students struggle to fit school events into their busy schedules.
PPCC student, Jaclyn Zagar, said, “the thing is that my schedule is pretty much planned out.”
Epstein suggests that having faculty take their students to school events during class time may create an atmosphere where more students are attending PPCC campus events.
Zagar said that in her experience, professors in General Transfer courses do a better job of promoting events, because those classes “are more heavy on the academics and the professors are really trying to boost the school.”
She also said, “There are a lot of things where I think oh, that sounds so fun, but it doesn’t fit into my schedule, so I’m not even going to consider it.”
Pikes Peak Community College isn’t a four-year University, and because of that, its students aren’t “traditional college students.” PPCC students often have jobs and families which keep them from participating as much as they might want to, and they don’t live on or near campus.
And because they are busy, students don’t necessarily take the time to look at the posters or check the Stall Street Journal.
PPCC student Jamelia Smith says, “A great way to start generating more student engagement at PPCC could be as simple as having members of the marketing/event team hand out fliers as opposed to just having fliers posted on a wall or bathroom stall. Let’s be honest, not many of us take the time to read them anyways since we’re rushing to class or hurrying out of the bathroom. But having a person there to hand out fliers and answer student questions would be a great start.”
PPCC’s Journalism students, Re’nesia Mills and Anna Higgs, suggest upgrading the layout of the Stall Street Journal to avoid information overload.
Both Higgs and Mills find that often, the small print and packed poster distracts them from reading it.
With more students having busier schedules and other commitments outside of school, having more teachers take their classrooms to major events may solve the issue of how to get more student engagement. Beyond that, some suggestions are to post events in D2L shells or merge the classroom content to support major events.
Faculty has the most direct line to students’ awareness in classrooms and may have the power to make a difference in attendance by involving their students during class time.
Music Professor, Sally Ann Wilson, said, “We have limited time and a lot of material to cover, but I try to get students involved.”
She does this by posting concert events for PPCC and outside PPCC musical events at the back of her classroom board, monthly reminder of events, and occasional calendar reminders on the discussion board on PPCCONLINE.
Epstein said all publicity requests for PPCC events are sent to Karen Kovaly, Coordinator of Communications, where she then disperses the information to the rest of the marketing team.
Depending on the event, each assigned member of the marketing team works through their channel of either press release, Stall Street Journal, the t.v./Jumbotrons, social media, the web calendar, or community online event calendars to get messages to students.
For Hispanic Heritage Month, the marketing team worked with Student Services, the LatinX Club and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, but only a few of the events saw strong student turnout.
Student Life and Student Government also participate in getting the events posted and shared throughout the campus.
Director of Student Life, Dawn Souza, said “Student Life uses a variety of marketing strategies. We go through our Marketing Department to advertise events. We also use student emails, posters, flyers, classroom announcements from our students. We also use tabling in the rotunda at CC, the main entrance at the DTSC, and the atrium at the RRC.”
Debra Willis, Office Manager in Student Life, added, “for all promotions for Student Activities, Sustainability, Fitness Center and Student Government Association (SGA) we post flyers around campus, get events in the Stall Street Journal and on the TV’s whenever possible.”
Ultimately, the question is, what will be the most effective method in getting more student attendance at PPCC campus events.
Students seem to be saying that Marketing is doing what they can, but participation is dependent on student interests and time. Marketing intends to send event announcements out earlier for faculty planning so professors can take their students to events, and this will be implemented in the future.