Interactive Texting Program to Involve Students

By Natalia Chavez

A new texting program announced at recent Campus Activities Board meeting was developed in order for students to get updates to their mobile phone about upcoming activities, events, and campus outings according to CAB Executive Officer, Melanie Weidman.

The program itself is more like a handy texting reminder of all upcoming event dates, exclusive to Suffolk Community College’s activities. Students can subscribe to the mobile notifications by texting the letters “SCCC” to 71441. This automatically sends students dates, locations, and times of trips straight to their mobile phone via text, making it easier for students to participate in all events, says Weidman.

The CAB meeting, held in the Mildred Green Room in the Babylon Student Center was planned to be an hour long, but only lasted about 20 minutes. All eight members of CAB were very friendly and seemed to know each other very well. They even invited everyone to introduce each other at the start of the meeting.

They discussed all upcoming events like their Broadway musicals, shows, talent shows, and movie nights. The audience was about 10-15 people in total which might have added to the short meeting time. The CAB members accepted any questions throughout the meeting about what was discussed

Two big events the CAB has planned for the semester are trips to the Broadway musical, Kinky Boots, for Wednesday March 5, and Medieval Times for Friday March 14th. Events such as these will use the text reminders to notify students of dates and such. Other activities that are held on campus, like the movie nights or talent shows, will notify the specific location and time where it will be taking place.

CAB developed the application during a meeting with programmers. “The text app is paid for yearly for the service by the college”, says Weidman. “For a service that helps students become aware of all events, it’s a good investment, but I didn’t know this until now” says SCCC student, Shelly Tapia.

Other students have also agreed that much of what goes on campus is unsaid. “The campus has a lot of great clubs but I just think there needs to be more advertisements of them,” says Suffolk student, Linda Vega.

During the CAB meeting executives, Deanna Keen, Jeffrey Hein, and Melanie Weidman, discussed that all activities are decided among the member’s suggestions and from student’s suggestions as well. Some students aren’t aware that they are able to suggest event ideas which could add to why not many participate.

Many students also posed the question about how much money and what money goes into these events. CAB Advisor, Frank Vino says “The CAB’s budget is about $80,000. That money comes from the ‘student activity fee’ included in your tuition.” So in other words the money comes from the students, but do students really get a say in where their money is going?

During interviews with some students many of them want to know where all the money goes and how they can be a part of what goes on. “If that fee is getting charged to me automatically, I should have a say where it should go” says student, Catalina Rossel.

Weidman claims that all the decisions are based on a majority rule vote amongst the members of CAB but each individual event may be organized by a specific member. For example CAB executive, Jeffrey Hein helped organize the Pokémon Tournament in which he is a big fan of. Chair member Logan Ferrell organized professional comedian, Arvin Mitchell to perform in the cafeteria during common hour March 26th.

If students have the freedom to give ideas, and get free text reminder to their phone about events then why aren’t they more involved? Students say there aren’t enough reminders or advertisements out there for us to see. “I would say like a daily or weekly email or social media to get people to vote. Some more flyers or posters preferably,” says Shelly Tapia.

Students say they are more than interested in all the upcoming events, the new texting program, and especially the talent show, but that the campus doesn’t do enough to put it out there. This new texting program is a new step towards getting the word out around campus and getting students more involved in campus activities.

The CAB members say the meetings are free for all students to attend and encourage all students to take part in what they have to offer. Their next meeting will be Monday March 10th in the Mildred Green Room of the Babylon Student Center. They are open to suggestions and event ideas as well. They post plenty of flyers on bulletin boards all over campus buildings.

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