What exactly is there to do at Marist anyway?
This tends to be a question asked by many Marist College students, especially those in the freshman class still looking to find their way or fit in.
For many in this situation, the events planned by the Student Programming Council of Marist during welcome week helped these freshman get a nice start, but haven’t gained that much traction since that point.
“I went to a bunch of the events SPC put on during welcome week. But since that point I only went to one of their Magic Shows,” said Ikpommwosa Pat-Osagie, a freshman at Marist college.
“Some part of it has to do with my schedule. But a lot of it has to do with the lack of advertising, I’m not always sure when the events are going on.”
Despite the variety of events SPC already puts on such as coffeehouses, comedians, bingo, small concerts, and movies, people like Osagie would like to see alternative social activities added to the mix.
“I think physical activities like paintball, laser tag, or even a basketball tournament would bring in a lot of attention.” Said Osagie.
For other freshmen like Jordan DiJulio, it’ll take more than just new ideas for her to frequently attend SPC events.
“I know these events exist, and they sound like fun to be at. It’s just tough to be at a lot of these events with my schedule, maybe if they changed the times or added more incentive for being there I would go more often,” said DiJulio
Meagan Carroll, President of SPC, has already come into the position knowing her top priority is to find what’s best for the freshman class and the population of Marist College.
“We realize that numbers dwindle after welcome week, and as people go through their semester, they are less likely to come through, so we look to change that,” says Carroll.
One of the events that suffers from these dwindling numbers are the weekend movies offered, many of which are movies that just came out in theaters. But the effort of setting up the films and affording the rights to these films, an estimated 25,000 dollars spent on the rights to screen these films per year, tend to not be worth it for the low attendance these events bring in.
“Obviously cutting back on movies would help because the other options are cheaper, but bringing in performers so frequently can be very costly in its approach. We certainly face budget constraints as far as how many and the type of artists we bring in.” said Carroll.
But Carroll remains optimistic towards what SPC means to the Marist community as a whole.
“These events serve as a strong alternative for kids who don’t always go out or party but still remain social.”
According to SPC’s website, they serve to satisfy “the voice of Marist students and applying popular opinion to create memorable and fulfilling programming for those who seek wholesome nightlife options on campus, being responsible for 75% of the late night alternative programming that takes place on campus.” And SPC’s Comedian Chair, Nolan DeGraff, feels strongly that they are continuing to head in the right direction in this regard.
“Our club as a whole has really worked to increase our Social Media outreach. We post a lot of our surveys for what students want for future events, and we always get a strong reaction which really helps us make the right decision on behalf of the student body.” Said DeGraff
Even if the numbers for certain events can be on the smaller side, DeGraff pointed out that SPC’s mission statement pertains to “putting on programming at all times” in order to keep itself frequently involved in fostering strong social relationships amongst the Marist community.
But participating in or just showing up to one of these events can have a wide range of benefits and incentives despite what most people think.
“We’ve already had major raffles within the first month, giving away broadway and sports tickets. Our Bingo nights always bring in a ton of people and a lot of stuff gets given away. We have free food at all our events, and I’ve made so many friends through this club. Definitely worth just showing up,” said DeGraff.
Whether you’re a freshman or senior, taking advantage of what SPC has to offer can only serve as a benefit. They strive to keep the students best interests in mind, and will only improve as more people participate and let their voice be heard.