Vision and Campus Relations
Chair: Marrissa Farris
Members: Paige Heiser, Kelsey Thompson, Patrick Simon, Justin Ketterman, Jamaal Hollins, Samia Ahmad, and Marc Reiter.
Meeting Location: Office of Student Life Small Conference Room
Fall 2013 Vision and Campus Relations Report
This semester, the Committee on Vision and Campus Relations has continued the implementation of the STARewards program. The prize levels have been adjusted, since there are more sponsors and thus more opportunities to gain points at more events. The highest points so far are 33. Compared to the end of Spring 2013, the highest points were 31. Those who are working with the sponsors have maintained consistent communication to ensure that everyone is on the same page. T-shirts have been purchased for the 20 points level, and a new design was made in order to appeal to even people that had received a shirt last year.
A newsletter has been produced, which will be handed out at an event that will be determined in the future. This new issue discusses the Student Union, the Smoking Task Force, 99 Problems, STARewards, and the Mascot Change Task Force. Articles written by the SOFA Chair, SAC executive board, our Student Trustee, and our SGA president are also provided within the newsletter. There is also a spotlight on SGA members Michael Oyakojo and Khalil Jamal.
We also conducted the Holiday Walk on December 11th with the help of SAC’s off campus event coordinator. Ed Wojcicki and Joan Sestak also provided guidance in the planning
of this event. Two SGA members drove the 12 passenger vans full of students downtown in order to participate in Downtown Springfield Inc.’s annual Holiday Walk. SGA purchased 40+
hats and gloves from the UIS bookstore in order to provide for the first students that attended the event. Over 50 students were in attendance, so it was considered a success because of the fact
that it was freezing that night! This event brought UIS students’ presence downtown in the community, which is something that many of us have wanted to work on.
Currently, the Committee on Vision and Campus Relations is working on 100 Things About SGA. This campaign will be education-based. It has been designed because many people
seem unaware of the contributions that past and present SGA members have made. So far, we have files that contain dates of when various initiatives began in the past, as well as a Facebook
group for SGA alumni and current members of SGA. The campaign itself will consist of 100 flyers around campus, each consisting of a fact about SGA. We are tentatively planning to conduct this plan in March or April.
99 Problems Status
VCR also conducted the 99 Problems campaign in October. This campaign was met with resounding success. Compared to last year, we received over 130% more responses (60-2013,
45-2012). The responses were then divvied up at the SGA conference in Chicago for the individual committees to handle. Below are the statuses of the ones that were related to VCR.
- “I love this university but the Leadership Lived campaign is horrible for many reasons. I resent the fact that it even exists. This University is bigger than some cheesy slogan and the false image it puts out. The students used in the campaigns all look the same. They are all a part of the same circles, clubs, and classes. The Leadership Lived billboards, videos, and commercials do very little to accurately represent the diversity on this campus. Instead, it force feeds the university and community a prototypical image of a leader. It seems as if making money off of recruitment has become the most important thing to the school.”The marketing office hired a consulting office that brought students in to give their opinions of the Leadership Lived campaign, and welcomed suggestions as to what could be improved.
- “Important events and milestones need to be celebrated and publicized more. Last spring, UIS welcomed its first fraternity. No one celebrated, and there were no publications written or televised on the campus channel. The reason for this is because the ceremony occurred at the same time as mud tug of war. It’s saddening to know that a simple tug-a-war game was given preference over such an historical event for this university.”Students can let The Journal know of these events and take pictures of the event themselves and submit them to be on the Campus Channel and the electronic billboards around campus.
- “One of the central components of the constitutional rights that we as American citizens enjoy is the right to free speech, and especially the right to freedom of the press. This is something that is central to newspapers on college campuses across the nation. However, one of the crucial components of public discourse is that a dialogue must have two parties. The Journal’s habit of publishing editorials taking stances on issues of controversy to UIS while simply identifying the author as ‘The Editorial Board’ hinders the ability of the UIS community to carry on a discourse on issues that are of great concern to the community as a whole. As any letter to the editor expressing an opinion is published with the name of the author, it should follow that those members of the Journal staff that decide to express their opinion should publish their opinion under their name, so the public discourse can continue with all parties, instead of taking a stance on an issue, and hiding behind the anonymity of the moniker ‘The Editorial Board’. The freedom of the press means that anyone can publish what they wish, but it would be nice to see The Journal have the courage to own their opinions, instead of hiding behind fake names, as is their current practice.” I emailed Deb Landis, advisor of The Journal, to handle the issue.
- “One of my biggest issues with the campus is the lack of health professionals available. I have been trying to see the doctor since the summer period, but I was informed that:
1. There is only one doctor and no practitioners
2. They only work on at certain times Tuesdays and Thursdays(when I work)
3. Because of issue number 2, they are always booked. If I am ill, I cannot see the health service provider and must go elsewhere in town. A visit to a clinic in town will cost extra money I don’t really have
I am asking for the university to hire more health care providers. It is frustrating to find out that I can’t be seen infuriating when I think about the fee we all pay for for a service many of us cannot use.”
This was handled in the distribution of student fees that the executive board decided on in the fall.
- “I would also love to see more diversity among the student representatives in the “leadership lived” campaign. It seems that the same, small group of students from specific organizations are always represented in the stories, pictures, and advertisements around campus and beyond. I would love to see a faculty and/or student nomination process to find more featured leaders.”
The marketing office hired a consulting office that brought students in to give their opinions of the Leadership Lived campaign, and welcomed suggestions as to what could be improved.
“SOFA meetings need restructuring… Perhaps set it up so that based on order of submission they get scheduled at 15/20 minute intervals so Org representatives don’t have to sit there for some random time between 0 minutes to an hour and a half?”
Emailed Nathan Piper, SOFA Chair, so he would be aware of the issue and potentially make changes.
- “boards are too full with notices that do not get taken down when are past” The Student Life office will now have a student worker go out once a week in order to take down old flyers.
- “WE NEED BETTER SPIRIT”This one was pretty vague. Flyers are up for UIS events, students can buy gear from the bookstore, there are various athletic events, etc.
- “The buildings on old campus all look the same. This is confusing, especially new and transfer students along with commuter students who don’t live on campus and get around often to a lot of the buildings as those who live on campus. If the mansard or fade part of the roof(where the letters are) were painted different colors, it would be easier to quickly identify the buildings. I.e., you need the career development center, it’s the blue one; stars lounge, it’s the purple one; ISS, it’s the red one; etc. This could easily become a school spirit raising—‘help decide the new colors of your campus’; ‘vote for your departments new buildings color’ Contacted Dave Barrows about the feasibility of getting this accomplished, obviously when it’s warmer.
- “Have a puppy program for students to help relieve stress and provide animal interactions while away from home. Many students miss their pets and would love to have a few “campus dogs” to spend time with. Petting a dog is also good for you! Studies have shown people who pet their furry friends each day have lower blood pressure and feel overall calm after an interaction with their pet. This would help students with depression or other mental illnesses.” Talked to Doc about this. He gave a few suggestions of places we could contact to see if this would be possible. One issue may be the fact that organizations may not be willing to just hand over some puppies for a short time. We will check more into this.