As with any other student life office, ours aims to provide vast opportunities for student engagement. We work with student clubs to create day to day activities on campus to promote student involvement with karaoke events, scavenger hunts, video game tournaments, chess game tournaments, special showings of movies and so on. But more than that we work hard to book tickets for off campus events which we believe our students will enjoy and attend. Unfortunately, students do not always take part in these off campus trips.
Within my year of working within the office of student life, I have noticed how our students do not purchase tickets for our off campus trips. Rather, it is our faculty and staff that run to our office to purchase tickets for our baseball games and Broadway shows. Now, the first thought that comes to mind is that we are not picking the “hip” trips or events for our students but how can a Yankees game or a trip to see Cirque Du Soleil not count as popular events for students? If I can guarantee that students know and appreciate these types of events, then what is the problem in getting more students to attend our trips?
When thinking of what the problem may be the first thought that comes to mind is that the discounted ticket prices we offer for students are still too high. Or maybe students know that primarily faculty and staff attend these trips and so they do not want to attend. Indeed, our lack of popularity as faculty and staff is highly noted at times within our day to day job. However, could it be that at a community college it is truly hard to engage students who may be working full time to support themselves and their family? As a four year student who gets the privilege to dorm is it just easier to take part in on and off campus activities due to proximity?
Do you experience the same quandary with engagement within your student population? If yes then what do you do to combat this growing dilemma?