Why aren’t students attending campus events?

Anthony O’Connell
Junior News Editor

img_2278Vinny Croce|The Hudsonian

About 46 percent of students have not attended any campus-sponsored events this semester according to a 200 student survey conducted by the Hudsonian.

“Our average student age is 27. A lot of students have other commitments outside of school such as jobs, family obligations that require their attention,” said Dennis Kennedy, director of communications and marketing. “We don’t have a strictly traditional student who is free of all other obligations.”

Students receive alerts to events on campus via email, the website, flyers, the Campus Chronicle and 12 television monitors on a day-to-day basis, but how much of that information actually registers in students’ minds?

“There are a few different ways events get planned around campus, but usually it starts with an individual office or department, student senate in conjunction with our student activities office, committees, or clubs,” said Kennedy.

However, 49 percent of students have attended at least one to three events this semester.

Each week the college puts out student announcements, which highlights the upcoming weeks’ events and activities as promotion to help increase student turnout. They appear in a weekly mass email and also shows up in Blackboard.

Kennedy says, “Our idea was to prevent students from being inundated with many messages from different groups and organizations promoting their events. I would say the web is the primary vehicle for sharing information with students.”

Kennedy continued to say that the college hopes to be able to deliver student announcements to students via text, in the future. Once the text option is put in place, administration then hopes to allow students to choose a “preferred method” of communication, meaning each student will have the option between email, text, mail or other.

Recently, there have been many events around campus with low turnouts, such as the pumpkin ring toss.

The Hudsonian survey shows 31 percent of students are not even aware of most events held around campus. The overwhelming majority of students believe the college does an “ok” job at making students aware, but could do better.

“I do read my email and also see the student announcements, but I honestly just don’t feel like looking through all of them to see which one interests me. I have the time to go to events around campus, I’m just not really aware of most of them,” said Kyari Hill, psychology major.

The Hudsonian student survey showed the events with the highest turn out so far this semester were Welcome Week and assorted sporting events. Homecoming and Fall Fest came right behind them.

61 percent of students said that if they knew about more campus-sponsored events, they would attend more. However, 39 percent of students said regardless if they knew or not, they still would not attend for various reasons.

Email is also one of the fastest and easiest ways administration can contact students. It also proves to be beneficial because 70 percent of students say they check their HVCC student email one or more times a day.

“We did some research through our ITS office about two years ago, and we looked at the use of students’ Hudson Valley accounts at certain points in the semester. It was pretty high, upper 80s or low 90 percentages, at some points in the semester,” Kennedy said.

Though those numbers are high, business accounting major Maria LaFerriere said, “I honestly forgot I even had a Hudson Valley email. I never check it.”

The survey shows only 3.5 percent of students reportedly never check their email.

Kennedy also mentioned the Campus Chronicle as a means of getting the word about events out to the campus.

“The college sponsors a daily newsletter for our 1,000 plus employees called the Campus Chronicle. The Campus Chronicle is an online blog that includes highlighted events, general news, athletic news release, social media feed and more,” he said. “Any employee on campus can submit news to the blog, which can be tagged for students. Through word of mouth our employees talk to our students about events that are happening.”

The college also regularly pitches stories to the media about events happening on the Hudson Valley campus. Whether or not those stories get picked up and are actually run in an ad or article, is another story.

Print such as promotional posters, direction signs or sandwich board signs is also utilized by the college to get information out. Sandwich boards are available through the student activities office for the purpose of student events.

“Hudson Valley is a commuter school,” Kennedy said. “We want to provide them with meaningful events and make their time on campus worthwhile. We want to engage students outside of the classroom as well.”

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