Month: December 2017


Passive Program of the Month
Brightest Wishes for Finals

School: Ferris State University Region: GLACURH
Person in charge: Tess Schulz Nominator: Timothy Nickels

Target Population: 35 Time Needed to Organize:
Number of People in Attendance: 35 Date(s) of Program: Month Long
Number of People Needed to Organize: 1 Cost of Program: None, used RA materials
On-Campus Population: 3,100 Chapter Size: 30

Origin of Program:

The program originated from a common holiday-season staple turned interactive passive program via the creative medium usage of a bulletin board. December bulletin boards are often unoriginal and uninspiring at most institutions that operate on a semester basis and close for Winter Break. It is not uncommon given the shortened month and with closing quickly approaching etc. for the bulletin board that month to be used for displaying critical closing information. Tess Schulz, Vandercook Hall Resident Advisor, could have done this but decided not to. Instead, Tess, as per usual, came up with a crisp, clean, and creative way to transform her otherwise mundane December bulletin board into something reflective for the past semester for all residents during the holiday season.

Word Count: 123

Please give a short description of the program:

As aforementioned, Tess Schulz, Vandercook Hall Resident Advisor, made strategic usage of her December bulletin board to create an interactive slightly holiday-themed passive program. To begin to describe Tess’ bulletin board/passive program, she used a solid white butcher block background in order to remain holiday neutral overall. The title of the board/program was “Brightest Wishes for Finals” on printed in black ink in cursive on a separate framed piece of white paper placed in the direct center of the board. The frame for this paper was black with blue corners showing a professional touch. Directly below that in smaller writing but in a similar fashion was written instructions stating “write high”lights” from this semester on the lightbulbs!”. Tess also provided writing utensils next to the instructions in creative small pouches constructed of leftover material used to make the board. Around these aforementioned components and covering the remainder of the board were several construction paper lightbulbs of various colors with a hand-drawn cord connecting them all making the impression of a strand of lights. Many non-traditional colors were used as well including various purples and pinks in order to remain as holiday neutral as possible while clearly using holiday lights as the overall concept. These same lightbulbs were what was used to create the border as well. Residents throughout the month used the board/program to passively use the opportunity to share their successes and reflect upon the semester that was about to end. It was great to visually see and read the successes of the Vandercook Hall residents via a creative and passive opportunity to share.

Word Count: 266

Goals of the program:

I believe a few goals were in play here for this passive program and bulletin board. First and foremost, I believe a goal was to provide the means of a casual and comfortable opportunity to publically share the successes of residents for the Fall 2017 semester. It also goes without saying that hopefully some reflection was inspired and that those successes were celebrated and those failures were learned from. Secondly, I believe another goal was to provide a bulletin board of substance as opposed to one of generic and disengaging closing material that usually persists during December. Thirdly, I believe another goal was to incorporate and celebrate the holiday season while being as neutral and respectful as possible in the process.

Word Count: 122

Positive and lasting effects of the program:

Hopefully a few positive effects were derived from this bulletin board and passive program including the goals that were aforementioned. Self-reflection especially can be a massive positive effect as residents look back upon the semester that just wrapped up and learn and grow from their successes and failures alike. Perhaps for some residents this provided an outlet and an avenue to celebrate their successes in a small way that potentially otherwise doesn’t exist for them. You never know. However, the lasting of the effects largely depends upon the resident. Inherently, this is a passive program so the lasting of the effect is dependent upon how much the resident takes away from the program. It could be as brief as how long it takes the resident to physically write their high”light” down or as long as they indulge the internal or external thought process behind that.

Word Count: 146

Short evaluation of the program:

As Tess’ supervisor I am able to be bit more objective and give her more credit than she likely would give herself. However, that aside I believe that Tess did a great job both in concept and execution of her passive program and bulletin board. Like many other programs of similar concept it took a little bit to get participation started but once a few high”lights” were completed residents started to take to it. I don’t believe many if any high”lights” at all were left by the end of the month, which is impressive considering that December is nearly a week and a half shorter than any other month due to closing for Winter Break. All of the high”lights” were appropriate and many were clearly heartfelt.

Word Count: 127

How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

This could easily be adapted to other campuses via the simple usage of a bulletin board and/or public posting space during December. For institutions without bulletin boards and/or those required to post closing information on those spaces you can create a mock bulletin board using vacant wall space. Instead of using staples for construction, simply glue, tape, or paint the components onto that blank piece of butcher block background and tape the completed board (butcher block) on that vacant wall space. Sure, it is extra work for some institution’s that don’t have bulletin boards and/or those that have content already committed for December, but this is a means of still engaging your community in a potentially otherwise hectic and stressful month.

Word Count: 122

Date of entry into database: 2018-01-07 20:01:53

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