Month: October 2017


Social Program of the Month

School: University of North Dakota Region: MACURH
Person in charge: Smith Hall Executive Board Nominator: Desiree Robinson

Target Population: 150 Time Needed to Organize: 1.5 months
Number of People in Attendance: 200 Date(s) of Program: 10/28/2017
Number of People Needed to Organize: 20 Cost of Program: $1,500
On-Campus Population: 3635 Chapter Size: 36

Origin of Program:

Every year, Smith Hall Government's extravagant Pink-O-Ween dance is held near Halloween time. This program is designed to serve as a safer Halloween party alternative for residents as well as raise ample awareness for breast cancer during the month of October. Years ago, this huge program originated from a Smith Hall freshman desiring to make a little difference in their hall community during the month of October. Little did they know, this dance would have a positive and lasting impact on the entire campus for years to come. Pink-O-Ween allows residents to show off their creativity at the cut throat costume contest where prizes are at stake. But costumes aren't the only way to win lavish prizes! Smith Hall Government spent over $1000 on prizes to be given away during the dance based on participation in the surplus of events hosted there. Pink-O-Ween hosts activities like Super Smash Bros, Quiplash, Black Jack, Trivia, and a Luminary/Get Well Soon card station for cancer patients. Pink-O-Ween is designed to bring the entire campus community together under one roof for a common purpose; an alternative night of safe fun meant for all campus residents joined in celebrating and honoring those affected by cancer.

Word Count: 200

Please give a short description of the program:

To Smith Hall Government, the month of October means living, breathing, planning Pink-O-Ween. The goal is to top the previous year's success level with more effort, money, time, and volunteers, especially because this dance is known to attract over 200 residents. Pink-O-Ween planning becomes a constant source of conversation among Hall Government. Planning begins in late September/early October with focuses on the event's preferred activities, prizes, food/drink selection, decorations, dance music playlist, and set up/tear down groups. Smith Hall Government also goes around to numerous residence halls on campus presenting the concept of Pink-O-Ween to conjure up volunteers, support, and money donations for the cause. Once an abundance of volunteers, money, and general support is gathered, Smith Hall Government digs into their budget to match the largest donation to give Pink-O-Ween a huge budget to throw a memorable dance. The dance budget is then split between the various activities. Over $1000 spent on genuinely lustful prizes like a Keurig, Samsung TV, and JLB Speakers to name a few. Food and drinks were paid for by UND's "Board Trade Out' concept where residents sign away one meal out of their day in place of eating food at the event instead of the dining center. "Board Trade Out" frees up the budget to be spent on other activities. Many of the activities and games at the dance were supplied by ARH and Smith RAs. The rest of the budget got spent on decorations. This year, Smith Hall Government had a goal to effectively tie in the breast cancer theme into the event. $300 was allotted for brand new decorations to give the matured program the breath of fresh air it needed. A newer element of this year's Pink-O-Ween was the activity table specifically dedicated to making cancer luminaries and cards honoring cancer patients. Set up took two days, immense coordination, and numerous volunteers. During the dance, volunteers are assigned to the numerous activity areas to make sure they run smoothly and remain lively from 8pm - 12am. Dance clean up takes another day and more volunteers, ending with a "Thank You for Volunteering" breakfast. A lot of effort goes into putting this event on, but it becomes worth it to see a majority of residents reluctant to leave at closing because they had such a wonderful, memorable time all the while staying safe, strengthening their social community, and supporting Breast Cancer.

Word Count: 400

Goals of the program:

Due to the deep definition of its objectives, the Pink-O-Ween experience has successfully executed its goals again. All of the goals are considered equal importance when it comes to effectively upholding this program. 1.) One major goal of this program is to curate and provide an encouraging environment for positive, social interactions between the entire campus community. 2.) Another important staple of Pink-O-Ween is promoting and providing a safer alternative to traditional college parties for those residents who wish to avoid that scene but still have a blast and/or for residents who are genuinely interested in a different party outlet they may not be used to. The sheer number of residents who choose to attend Pink-O-Ween instead of "going out" solidifies the message being portrayed that says it's still "cool" to say no to drinking and still possible to have a great time. 3.) The last big goal of this dance is to promote breast (and other) cancer awareness. Pink-O-Ween has a pink themed decorations and a luminary/card making station for residents to take a moment and honor those affected by cancer. An incentive was provided at that station encouraging residents to participate in the awareness aspect of the program.

Word Count: 200

Positive and lasting effects of the program:

One huge benefit and lasting effect of alternative parties like Pink-O-Ween are the beginnings of smarter/safer decisions and habits for future nights’ out and a general understanding that it can be just as fun to say no to drinking (and enjoy oneself in a safer environment. Many residents feel pressured into alcoholic parties that can lead to poor decisions and dangerous situations, and it is important to Smith Hall Government to help change that view. Since Pink-O- Ween reaches out to the entire campus community and encourages a social environment all around, many residents comment on how many new people they met and became friends with as a result of the dance. Pink-O-Ween brings residents out of their shells and more apt to meet others and attend hall events. After this program more Smith Hall residents are becoming comfortable and socializing out in the hallways and study rooms. Because Pink-O-Ween is welcome to the entire campus, all the residents that attended were exposed to brand new people outside their immediate community and they now act more confident and connected to their campus. The last benefit is using this event to promote a broader mindfulness for the affects and prevalence of cancer.

Word Count: 200

Short evaluation of the program:

Pink-O-Ween was a massive success this year. Each goal (providing safer alternative, building community, and promoting Breast Cancer Awareness) was clearly defined at the program. Another measure of success came from the sheer volume of attendees. This year Pink-O-Ween had well over 200 people arrive! The biggest difference this year was the enormous capacity of people who chose to stay a majority of the time to socialize, participate in activities, and storm the constantly lively dance floor. Also, Pink-O-Ween filled up with costume clad individuals within 30 minutes of the doors opening. Residents who claimed they wouldn't stay the entire event were among the many who were reluctant to leave at the end. The only changes I would suggest for next year are small tweaks to the dance lay out, clear and constant communication between the planning committees, more food ordered, less hesitation spending money, evenly distributed planning workloads, and the same type of advertising as now spread throughout the entire month. This year the pros clearly outweighed the cons resulting in Pink-O-Ween 2017 setting the bar high for future campus dances. Smith Hall Government and all of the volunteers should be very proud of their hard work paying off.

Word Count: 200

How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

The secrets to success of Pink-O-Ween should definitely be shared with other campuses! If another college were to adopt this program or one similar, I would advise keeping it welcome and accessible to all residents on campus. It works best in a large space, central to campus, with easy access. In order to be successful, other colleges should keep in mind that programs like Pink-O-Ween require a clear theme and defined objectives, lots of planning time, strategic and constant advertising, an ample budget, and numerous volunteers. With Pink-O- Ween, the more time, money, effort, and help, the bigger and better the program. The theme and subsequent decorations and activities should be cohesive. The educational and social aspects need to intertwine seamlessly. While the Breast Cancer Awareness theme of Pink-O-Ween is relevant (to October) and always important, another college may benefit from finding a different educational theme that the college and residents are most passionate about. Keep the theme relevant to the campus! I would advise other colleges to keep the program theme educational coupled with social instead of solely social because a good message always resonates better with people and makes for a more positive recognition on the college's behalf.

Word Count: 200

Date of entry into database: 2017-11-05 14:07:17

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