Month: October 2010


Social Program of the Month
School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

School: Centenary College of Louisiana Region: SWACURH
Person in charge: Katherine Shamburger Nominator: Ashley Lynch

Target Population: 600+ Time Needed to Organize: Several weeks
Number of People in Attendance: 100s Date(s) of Program: 10/25/2010-10/30/2010
Number of People Needed to Organize: ~16 Cost of Program:
On-Campus Population: 600 Chapter Size: 9

Origin of Program:

Accio Harry Potter! The dreams of many students at our college came true this past October when our Campus Activities Board hosted a week long Halloween event that transformed our college into a school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The idea came from Campus Activities Board President, Katherine Shamburger, who, along with her staff, was inspired to transform many elements of our campus to coincide with the Harry Potter franchise.

"Besides the fact that it is awesome, I thought it would be a great way to promote campus activity since everyone is getting ready for the upcoming movie," said Katherine.

She couldn't have been more right. The organization's events were highly successful, several of them drawing attendees in by the hundreds. When Katherine sat down to start planning ideas earlier this year, she did not imagine that her organization's traditional week-long Halloween event would grow to encompass such a large, creative theme that would draw in faculty and staff members as well as students, organizations, and entire departments. What ensued through the weeks of October was well beyond her wildest dreams for her organization's project, which took on a shape propelled by the campus' desire to see these exciting events succeed.

Word Count: 200

Please give a short description of the program:

On Monday, October 25th 2010, students went to their mailbox to find a small letter written in green ink. These students were all well past the age of 11, when young wizards and witches are invited to attend a school for magic. However, their invitation had finally come, and not one of them had a complaint!

As they went about their day -- attending classes, visiting offices, waving to familiar faces -- they noticed a remarkable change in the faculty and staff members around campus: everyone was wearing robes! It was a magical experience to return to the residence halls which had been given their own, special crests. Their prefects, previously known as resident assistants, greeted them and let them know about the upcoming events that would be present that week, as well as the opportunity to win the House Cup for their hall by attending as many events as possible!

Later that night, they were invited to watch a renowned magician perform tricks. They received free t-shirts to advertise their new campus identity, complete with a special crest for their school. Once the magician finished, they were instructed to keep their eyes pealed for the mysterious Horcruxes hidden throughout the campus, and were told that they would receive a prize upon locating one.

The next day, students were encouraged to engage in a game of Wizard's Chess. While some were willing to step in as courageous game pieces for their team, others opted to be the game players and called out instructions to their fellow teammates. Colleagues were welcome to come watch and support their favorite teams.

As the week went on, they were also encouraged to participate in a movie marathon, where a trolley full of snacks was available to students who fancied a treat during the showing. Along with snacks, a game of Butterbeer-pong was held, where the favorite drink of wizards and witches was served alongside facts about alcohol given by their Aurors, or campus security force.

The week ended with a heated game of Quidditch, where students were given brooms, quaffles, bludgers, and goal posts for an epic battle to score the most points (or find the cross-country-runner-Snitch that was running somewhere around campus).

When all was done, the House Cup winners were given a mighty feast and the faculty and staff members of our campus stowed away their robes - - until their next return.

Word Count: 400

Goals of the program:

The program succeeded in doing exactly what it sought to do: get students and residents excited and involved on campus by grabbing onto a theme that had risen in popularity once again.

Katherine and her Campus Activities Board staff members knew that they wanted to make this program as big as they possibly could. They sought to attract many organizations and departments to assist with this endeavor. They knew that this popular theme could possibly attract a high participation rate, and they set that as a goal for themselves: achieve high attendance numbers at each program and event.

As they were planning, they wanted to keep as much authenticity with the book as possible. Messing up the culture of the book would be a detriment to their project rather than a compliment to it, and they knew that. They spent hours pondering over program ideas and ways that other organizations could assist with their goals -- whether that was asking a Chemistry professor to take on the title of "potions instructor," or discussing the possibility of dressing up as the famous Harry Potter Headmaster, Dumbledore, with our college president. It was important to them that the events should seem legitimate.

Word Count: 200

Positive and lasting effects of the program:

If nothing else, this series of programs brought together more departments and organizations than previous events of its type had been able to do on our campus. Resident Assistants, student Media organizations, the campus' Student Government Association, and our Department of Public Safety, Sodexho cafeteria services, Greek life members, and numerous faculty and staff members worked hard alongside our Campus Activities Board to create a magical Halloween event that kept our campus lively throughout the month of October.

Organizations renamed themselves in the spirit of the books, giving themselves familiar titles for followers of the series. Some even changed their entire format (like our campus newspaper, who became the Daily Prophet for a week and took on the eccentric style shown in the movies) or volunteered services (like one of our sororities, Chi Omega, whose owl mascot delivered "messages" to students around campus at random hours of the day) throughout the week. Resident Assistants decorated resident doors and hallways with favorite characters and quotes, while several even co-programmed during the week to help keep the programs running smoothly.

The program offered so many ways for others to get involved that it was bound to encourage future involvement after it finished.

Word Count: 200

Short evaluation of the program:

Overall, the campus and its many members responded positively to the event. The program was a highly successful set of events that encouraged our campus community to work together for a common purpose: a fun, enjoyable atmosphere that promoted campus involvement.

The theme of "School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" certainly accomplished our Campus Activities Board's goals, even giving safe alternatives for the upcoming holiday. Many of the program's side events, like the "Shrieking Shack (a haunted house sponsored by the Prefects/Resident Assistants)" and Quidditch, which were held the night before Halloween, gave our residents additional options when deciding what they wanted to do over their holiday weekend, especially those who had not made prior plans or who were left out of exclusive events.

This series of programs was a well-deserved break for our students who had just completed their midterms and were making the long push 'till Thanksgiving break. They could spend time reveling in the popular series that had been such a heavy part of so many of their generation's childhoods. With so many activities, there was something available for students to do, see, or remark about over the course of the week -- and well beyond it.

Word Count: 200

How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

Due to its popularity, it would be hard not to find ways for your campus to connect with the series. Harry Potter was such a widely read and watched phenomenon during our generation that so many individuals can identify with the culture created by its author.

Many of those who had never picked up a Harry Potter book or caught the movies before CAB announced their Halloween programs weren't left astray -- one Resident Assistant showed the whole series over the duration of the month, partnering with CAB to watch the final two (with the exception of the seventh, of course), and many the halls decorated heavily.

The hype surrounding the build-up of events throughout the month of October had our campus buzzing, too. That being said, publicizing your Harry Potter events well before their debut could do wonders for your attendance rate.

As Katherine suggested, the best time to publicize an event of this nature would be near upcoming release times -- whether that's the release of the final two movies in theaters or on dvd. Take any element of the series, and you can surely find a way to relate it to individual elements of your campus.

Word Count: 200

Date of entry into database: 2010-11-08 20:40:28

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