Plan aims to increase student involvement

By: Alexis Stallard, Editor-In-Chief

Student Life is implementing a raffle ticket system that its leaders hope will persuade students to attend and get involved at more events on campus.

Under the new system, students will be given raffle tickets at the beginning of various campus events and then submit them to possibly win large prizes during the traditional Breakfast and Bingo party at the end of the semester.

Joshua Prilliman, director of student activities, said the biggest obstacles to getting attendance up at all events are having good enough incentives to draw students and having enough money to offer those incentives.

“Everything is incentivized, and the problem is when you do incentives is that there’s a ton of money involved in that,” Prilliman said. “And money doesn’t just grow on trees.”

Prilliman said the ticket idea was born over the summer break and was inspired by the punch card system that was used during his time as a student at Newman from 2010 to 2014. The old system would reward students for attending events with stickers, and once the card was full, the student got a small prize.

The sole purpose of the new raffle ticket system, he said, is to get people attending more club events, athletic events and guest speaker presentations. Prilliman said the old punch card system was flawed because students often lost their cards, meaning they sometimes had to start all over again. For this system, students will only have to write their name on a ticket and put it into a container. Student Life will keep track of the container and tickets.

“I wanted to give students an opportunity to attend things and be involved…where they might get something even more out of it at the end of the semester but they don’t have to be responsible for keeping track of it,” Prilliman said.

Low attendance at all events has been a concern across all clubs and teams on campus for the past few years, and even offering free food didn’t help, Prilliman said. He thinks low involvement is likely a side effect of COVID-19 but said he believes this new system will persuade students to get involved again. He said he hopes to save money by using the hundreds of dollars he used to spend providing food at events to get prizes that will entice students to participate.

Prilliman first tested the idea over the summer at a Flight Night event for incoming freshmen and said the feedback convinced his department to try it out school-wide when the semester started. The freshmen who won in that raffle went home with items such as an air fryer, bluetooth headphones, a mini fridge and a backpack full of school supplies. Prilliman said that the winners that will be drawn at the semesterly Breakfast and Bingo on Dec. 3 can expect to win similar prizes.

Students have been offering plenty of prize recommendations, he said, and he is already planning the big items that will be up for grabs at the end of the semester.

Prilliman said they plan to pass out tickets at as many events across campus as possible. In addition, the number of tickets given at each event will vary based on what event it is. For example, some sporting events might be worth two or three tickets, but attending a guest speaker event could be worth 10 tickets.

He said any clubs or groups wanting to have tickets given out at their events can contact him to get set up. Any students wishing to volunteer to hand out and manage the tickets can also contact Prilliman.

PHOTO: Courtesy photo, Newman University SAAC