Promote it and they will come

The university experience offers more than the means for obtaining degrees, but many University of La Verne students do not take advantage of the opportunities for education beyond the classroom.

Insufficient advertising for events put on by departments on campus could be one of the reasons for the empty seats during concerts, plays, housing events, panel discussions and sports games.

Not only are students missing additional educational opportunities but they are also missing entertainment that may bring culture, awareness and a connection to their campus community.

Daniel Loera, interim director of the Institute for Multicultural Research and Campus Diversity, said he was pleased by the student turn out at a recent discussion put on by the Coalition for Diversity called “Spirituality and Homosexuality.” Some instructors brought their entire classes.

However, Loera said, “I think in general there has been less student attendance at these events.”

Recent Black History Month events were spectacular, he said, and more students should take advantage of the opportunities.

Loretta Rahmani, dean of student affairs, said that she has actually seen more attendance at events recently. She said that attendance goes up and down depending on the “life cycle” of the students and event planning.

“Could we reach more people and could more people attend? Yes,” she said.

Professional performers, either faculty from ULV or visiting musicians, frequently come to Founders Hall for the music department’s Concert Series. Yet the auditorium rarely fills to one-third of its capacity. When performers are used to sharing their music with a full house, performing to a smaller group can be a let-down.

Nevertheless, it is not as if this campus is lacking in music appreciation students – and these events do get their regular crowds.

The problem is attracting new attendees, people who would enjoy the performances but are not in the know.

One kiosk on campus is not cutting it when it comes to filling the seats in the Dailey Theatre either.

Productions throughout the year put on by talented and hardworking theater students and faculty should be recognized with larger numbers in the audience.

The performers on stage expect to have an audience – as they probably feed off the energy exuded from it.

What is going to get more students to these shows?

After all, movie theaters are often packed on opening nights, so we know students enjoy watching performances.

Advertising on campus needs to take direction from the industry that does advertising best – Hollywood.

As Loera put it: “I really think we see paper on the walls and it doesn’t get our attention.”

He said something new – like more kiosks – might draw more student attention to events.

Sporting events do not even draw a consistent crowd. So the football team is not winning SCIAC titles – isn’t the point to root for the home team regardless?

Student athletes practice constantly so when it comes to game time, they want to show their peers what they can accomplish and hear cheering from the stands.

Granted, a small campus like ULV that offers such a diversity of programs will not always attract large numbers to all its events.

Many speaking events, for example, center on special interests and it is difficult to generate mass interest with such a small population.

However, with better advertising more of the population will know about the events to choose the ones they want to attend or should attend.

Housing was not successful in reaching students wishing to renew their housing contracts recently. Minimal flyers were posted and emails were only sent to students with ULV accounts.

We are saturated with information about campus events in a confusion of flyers, posters and insufficient Web sites. But something needs to be done to grab our attention and help us sift through the mess.

The ULV homepage could use reworking. Or a collective student Web site featuring events open to students on campus would be beneficial.

Instead we enter www.ulv.edu and have to hunt for information on housing and residential life events or ASF events. Clubs and organizations with links on the homepage rarely update their Web sites so those searches often turn up fruitless.

However, it comes down to the students and how willing they are to stick around after class to attend a debate in the quad or come back in the evening for a concert. Then there is the realization that no matter what, events cannot be planned around everyone’s class and work schedule.

To maximize attendance, events should be advertised through every possible medium on campus – flyers, KULV, LVTV, Campus Times, Web sites and by word of mouth, but students must decide if they can juggle even more in their already hectic schedules.

Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the Campus Times Editorial Board.

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