Campus News

Activities pump up campus

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With a new board, name, director and plan, Bethel’s Campus Activities underwent quite a few changes this year in order to revamp Bethel’s social atmosphere, according to Reed Lyons, director of Campus Activities. Behind all the change, there exist Campus Activities staff members who are putting forth effort. Lyons, who is also the resident director of Founders’ Village, said he didn’t enter this year with  the intention of applying for the director position, but it seemed to fit nicely with his previous experience. He said it allows him to accomplish some of the goals he had for the campus. A 2010 Bethel graduate, Lyons was a residential assistant for two years during his time as a student, which means he is both aware of what students enjoy and comfortable with what his position entails. Being a student himself not too long ago, Lyons said he wanted to revive Campus Activities, since in the past it had “slumped” due to budgetary constraints and a decline in students staying on campus during the weekends. He said the old culture of social life had “peaked and was coasting.” He wanted to do something to evoke “excitement and interest” for students. Along with Lyons, Jon Nicoletti, sophomore, is a student intern for Campus Activities.  Nicoletti became involved in Campus Activities through his position as a dormitory representative for Student Council. In this position, Nicoletti gained experience with planning activities and figuring out ways to enrich the student experience. From this point, several individuals recommended that he apply for the Campus Activities internship, so he applied and is now serving as an intern for the department. Nicoletti said he entered this year with the goal of “bridging the communication gap” between various groups on campus, including residential staff, members of the Campus Activities’ department and individuals in student council. He said he wanted to help maintain consistent conversation within these groups, which all work toward the goal of making the student experience as positive as possible. With his help, they plan events that are unique and are able to combine resources when necessary. Beyond Lyons and Nicoletti, a new Campus Activities board has formed this year. According to Lyons, it is composed of himself, Nicoletti and eight other students. Lyons said the purpose of this board is to plan unique and interesting events that the students might enjoy. Lyons said they are working towards presenting more, consistent options for on-campus students. “It’s all about the kids,” said Lyons. “Seeing the need for and having a vision for what I thought students would really be interested in” is what inspired him to apply for the position. In order to accomplish some of their goals, Lyons and Nicoletti began the year by changing the department’s name from Social Life to Campus Activities because they felt the name fell more in line with what the department does for the campus, which is to provide activities for students. To maintain consistency, they work to provide one event per week, which is what led to the development of open mic nights. Open mic nights are a time for students to share their talents on the stage at Sufficient Grounds Coffee House. Along with a weekly event, they provide one event per weekend, which has included a variety of activities, such as a series of life-sized board games. Other events that offered include disc-golf and residential life events, such as barbeques. Also, they aim to offer one major event every month. Lyons said he wants to provide “an option, not necessarily expecting all of the students to come.” He said he has been pleased with the outcome of most of the events and wants to stay consistent, so the events become more established. “We want to provide events that you can say ‘if I didn’t do this now, I would never have another time in my life to do it,”said Lyons. He points to specific events such as the life-sized board games, as examples that may fulfill this ambition. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed; some students commented on the changes they’ve seen so far. “It’s been very consistent, which has just made it go better and smoother,” said Grace Schlatter, senior. “People know it’s happening, and the cool ideas that Reed comes up with just really excites people.” “I’ve been to some open mic nights, and I love those,” said Schlatter. “It’s just neat because these events bring different groups together that might not necessarily interact during the week.” David Drew, freshman, said he hasn’t attended any of the events due to his busy schedule, but some of his friends have and enjoyed to events. He also said that he thought the events were well advertised. “I think it’s been much better than past years,” said Deidre Bridges, junior. Bridges said she thinks they have marketed the events well too. Bridges commented on how creative and interesting the events have been. Nicoletti said he believes they have laid a solid foundation for future years, acknowledging that the full impact of such efforts isn’t fully realized for a few years. In looking toward the future, Lyons said he wants to “keep the same momentum.” He wants to work with his board to come up with more events, ensuring they are events that are unique and enjoyable for the students. Coming up, Campus Activities is working on several major events, including a film festival at the end of January and an adventure race, which includes a campus-wide obstacle course, sometime before the end of the school year.  
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