NACURH Winner
Month: December 2017

NACURH, INC.

Social Program of the Month
Jingle Wells

School: Missouri State University Region: MACURH
Person in charge: Haley Zangl Nominator: Jared Grimsley

Target Population: 480 Time Needed to Organize: 3 weeks
Number of People in Attendance: 120 Date(s) of Program: December 7, 2017
Number of People Needed to Organize: 10 Cost of Program: $250
On-Campus Population: 4100 Chapter Size: 41

Origin of Program:

Study Day Eve at Missouri State University marks the last day of classes each semester. As is on a lot of campuses, this also happens to be the night with an increased level of partying and alcohol consumption as a means of celebrating the end of the academic semester. The Wells Hall Council always tries to provide alternatives for students to participate in the residence hall during nights like these. The community in the building is accustomed to larger social programs that have happened in the past, so the Hall Council Executive Board wanted to make sure to provide a festive opportunity that matches and/or exceeds our resident’s expectations, and gives them a reason to WANT to spend them with each other that still allows them to celebrate classes being over. The name for the program came from a punny, yet clever combination of the holiday song Jingle Bells paired with the name of our residence hall, Wells House. Thus, Jingle Wells was born!

Word Count: 164


Please give a short description of the program:

Jingle Wells took place in the Wells Grand Lounge, the largest common recreational space in the residence hall. There is a giant flat-screen TV, ample seating space, tables, a pool table, ping pong table, a community kitchen, and plenty of open space. This area was re- decorated as a winter wonderland with streamers, lights, snowflakes, and candy canes (which ended up serving a hidden purpose!).

There was a unique mix of food and treats to satisfy almost anybody. There were a few different types of chicken wings for those who like to get their hands dirty. Even though the outside weather at the time was more like autumn weather as opposed to mid-December, residents could treat themselves to a hot cocoa. The star of the show was the homemade cheesecake dip that residents could eat with any of the other snacks that were provided. (You just had to be there to know how good it was!)

For activities, there was also plenty to do. Residents could “Pin the Nose on Olaf” (because Frozen is still popular, am I right?) and were able to participating in many rounds of Snowman Bingo. It was announced shortly after the program started that there would be a candy cane hunt for actual candy canes that were hidden throughout the Grand Lounge and ground floor level. It was a mad-house! Some were taped to walls, stuffed under couch cushions, hidden in the newspaper stand, placed in the coin slot of the vending machines, and even hidden on staff members who were present. The most popular part of the entire program was the ugly sweater decorating! Long-sleeve shirts were purchases for residents to decorate with paint, ribbons, and bows, just like your traditional ugly sweater. (The amount of time some residents spent decorating theirs hopefully showcases the amount of dedication the put into their academics!)

Residents got raffle tickets just for showing up to the program and were able to win more by participating in all of the game that would allow them to win one of the many prizes! There were gift-cards to various restaurants, a movie basket, and even a Bluetooth speaker. As the event continued, there was a congregation of residents that began sitting down next to each other, just talking about random things and getting to know each other. Activities were done but residents found reasons want to want to stick around.

Word Count: 400


Goals of the program:

As mentioned above, one of the main goals of the program was to provide a social alternative to the typical nightly events of Study Day Eve. We recognize that not everybody goes out and drinks, and that even some who do likely do it responsibly. We also recognize that those residents who don’t go out on Study Day Eve might not want to spend an evening at a residence hall program. Wells Hall Council just wanted to offer the opportunity for those who wanted to take advantage of it.

Additionally, as is the goal for most social programs, a goal was trying to continue to build community (keyword being “continue”). Wells has a reputation for having a unique community and Jingle Wells wanted to capitalize on being the last social program of the semester that residents could be a part of. Wells Hall Council wanted residents to be able to relax and enjoy the upcoming end of the academic semester, while getting into the holiday spirit (and whatever the means for the individual person).

Word Count: 175


Positive and lasting effects of the program:

Jingle Wells was a great way to culminate the end of a great semester (and first collegiate semester for the majority of our residents). It’s always important to stress community development early on in the semester, because if you can get to residents early, most intentional efforts for community development can have automatic positive and lasting effects because residents come to expect a quantity and quality of relationships, interactions, and experiences in their home away from home. Jingle Wells hopefully added to that mindset that Wells has been so intentional to create. If someone left feeling more connected to others in the building, if they came out of it with a clearer head as they went into studying for finals, or if it allowed them to take their mind off of whatever may have been on their mind, then I’d say that’s a good thing.

Word Count: 145


Short evaluation of the program:

Jingle Wells was the smoothest event put on by Wells Hall Council this year. They learned from previous mistakes and shortcomings in terms of pre-planning, logistics, and execution. (It’s a testament to their own growth as a team and individual leaders.) The activities were well- spaced apart to make sure that residents could do everything. Even though social programs historically never have enough food for some reason, the food lasted a lot longer than food at previous events. Instead of just chips, cookies, pizza, and candy, the group learned to offer fun food choices that residents don’t already have in their own rooms.

There was a better system for giving out prizes that made sure they kept track of what was being out and making sure that everybody did have a fair chance to be eligible to win. If there was an announcement that needed to be made, the student leaders were more confident addressing the crowd to make sure everybody knew what was going on. As an overall evaluation, the event successfully lasted the full time as advertised, instead of prematurely ending after the food runs out and after people slowly depart, one by one. That was a win!

Word Count: 200


How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

Most “end-of-the-semester” programs follow the same formula: food, games, festive decorations, and a punny name scheduled during a time when is most appropriate to get the largest group of residents to attend. It’s just important for your respective institution, department, and residence hall to find the best time during the semester the hold this social event. Is your goal to build incredible community during the first few weeks of the semester? Have you seen a trend of resident stress that a mild social gathering could help fix? Are there historical times on your campus that more risky behaviors happen, whether it be homecoming or the last day of classes? These are all things to consider.

We recognize that not all residence halls have adequate common spaces or even funding available to help support and provide the necessary equipment or food for the event, but there are always opportunities to seek for help elsewhere. You can reach out to your respective Residence Hall Association (or equivalent organization) for funding, or ask your campus dining partners can donate food for free. A lot of halls have stockpiled supplies over the years that can be taken out of retirement to use!

Word Count: 199



Date of entry into database: 2018-01-05 00:27:31

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