Two student-organized activities recently drew a lot of attention from the LC campus community, including one that won a statewide award.
The first was a “Pong Party” organized by members of the First Year Engagement staff. The Virginia Association of College and University Housing Officers chose the event for the Program of the Year at a recent conference for resident assistants.
Graduate assistant Hannah Myers, who is earning a master’s degree in educational leadership, led RAs in creating the event for a monthly First Year Engagement event earlier this semester.
They invited freshmen to play “root beer pong” by tossing ping pong balls into cups of root beer. During the party, they took student groups on tours to see other residence life staff members enact scenarios that college students face. Among other situations, they demonstrated positive ways to react to medical emergencies and intervene to prevent a sexual assault. After each scenario, RAs talked with the first-year students about what they saw. They discussed ways the LiveSafe app could be used to help report and resolve issues.
Kristen Cooper, director of residence life at LC, nominated the activity for the award because it was creative, fun, and effective. “The response from the students was really positive,” Cooper said. “It was what we try to get our staff to do. It was social, people came and had a good time, but it was educational. What a great and creative way to inform students about services as well as policies.”
The next activity happened on Tuesday evening when more than 200 students came to “Not All Heroes Wear Capes,” an event about sexual assault prevention and bystander intervention.
The members of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, led by chapter president Ben Gerke, planned the event along with Miranda Mitchell, an intern for the college’s sexual assault prevention program. Steve Koudelka, head coach of the men’s lacrosse team, facilitated the event.
The event included a video, one student’s account about how bystanders helped save his sister, and discussion groups. All the students who attended stayed for the entire 90-minute program, said John Eccles, vice president and dean for student development. “All were engaged and all pledged to be a part of the solution,” he said.
Eccles said he was proud to see LC students propose, organize, and create the event. “When people ask me what my favorite memories are of LC over my 30 year career, this event will be one of them,” he said. “We came together because students wanted to make a difference, and that is what makes LC special.”