Month: May 2018


Passive Program of the Month
Finals Survival Stashes

School: Clemson University Region: SAACURH
Person in charge: Hannah Aksamit Nominator: Hannah Aksamit

Target Population: 700 Time Needed to Organize: 1 day
Number of People in Attendance: 700 Date(s) of Program: April 28th-May 4th
Number of People Needed to Organize: 1 Cost of Program: $200
On-Campus Population: 6500 Chapter Size: 65

Origin of Program:

During my time as a Resident Assistant (RA), I knew how stressful and overwhelming finals season can be for virtually every college student, first year or not. I had made it a tradition to do passive finals programming for my wing and then the entire community to help students prepare for finals. I could see how worried they were about their finals, moving me to host a program that would not use up their precious study time, but get the point across that I cared. These weeks of finals goodies was named Finals Fun, but I was not sure how receptive students would be at my new institution. Moving to South Carolina and serving as a Graduate Community Director, I wanted my RAs and my students to know that I cared. The pressure to perform and the high academic rigor at Clemson meant that these students needed some encouragement. I crafted up some cheesy puns and got supplies for my students the Finals Survival Stashes were prepped in the lobbies. From my previous versions of this program, I have learning to stagger when you put out the items because everything will be gone in the first hour

Word Count: 198

Please give a short description of the program:

Finals Survival Stashes are helpful for my students and fun for me to make as a Graduate Community Director! I wanted to do something for finals week which was the first week of May for Clemson University. Our housing department is a curriculum-based model where programming is not as emphasized. I brought my love of events, and motivation and created Finals Survival Stashes for residents of my three buildings to stumble upon. In the past a version of this programming was spread out across the week, but from resident feedback, I have learned to put all the supplies out the Friday before finals and refill supplies as needed. There were three stashes for residents of Holmes/McCabe, and Stadium Suites to find, all located in the community lobbies. Each stash was designated with a big red cross labled, “You have found a FINALS SURVIVAL STASH,” letting residents know they can talk what they need to be successful this finals season. There were pencils with the puns, “I know we’re at the POINT of the year where it can be stressful, but you’ve got this!” There were large erasers out so residents could use them for the entirety of their finals taking season. Blue, black, and red pens were put out since the weekend is when residents are finishing up final essays and having red pens to make edits can be beneficial. With the pens it said, “Don’t overthINK things too much. Trust yourself!” Residents can take the stress and weight of finals very hard, especially if they have scholarships on the line. Offering words of encouragement goes a long way. Sometimes they need to be reminded that a test or even a class will make or break their future in the long run. There were index cards and sticky notes for residents that said, “Don’t get stuck on a single exam you are capable of so much more.” I purchased big tubs of pillow mints that said, “You were MINT to succeed.” Mint is shown to help students focus so these peppermints were extremely popular. Finally I purchased various colors of highlighters and added a sign that said, “The HIGHLIGHT of finals is that summer is right around the corner!” All of these goodies were replenished throughout the weekend leading up to finals and throughout the week.

Word Count: 387

Goals of the program:

This passive program was created to encourage residents to stay motivated and be persistent in their academic endeavors. They needed a little push to keep studying or the confidence they were going to do well on their finals. Each goodie had motivational puns or phrases to wish students success in their classes. Another goal of the program was that it was intended to help students de-stress during finals. Most residents do not look twice at the dozens of fliers in the hallways or hundreds of emails in their mailboxes, but these goodies were placed on tabled right at the entrance of all our communities. Places they have to pass or be around every day. So having to see these treats, they would make residents smile, or boost their mood. I wanted my students to know that even though I was busy with my own finals, still being a graduate student that I cared about them and wanted to make sure they knew I was still around if they needed anything, but most of all that I was invested in their success.

Word Count: 181

Positive and lasting effects of the program:

This passive program had many positive effects on the Holmes/McCabe and Stadium Suites (HMS) resident population at Clemson. My leadership team has been working to bring HMS together, as this year it is a new complex with all three building together. Having this program occur in all three communities it is creating consistency, and letting all residents know the leadership team members are not just for one building. My residents really got a sense of how much I care as a Graduate Community Director, that I am here to support them in any way necessary, whether they need a pencil, a hug, or a tissue because their tears of joy for acing a test. The most important effects of this program is the motivation factor. Our residents are students first, that is why they came to college, and giving them a little bit of extra motivation to finish their first semester out strong was what came out of these stashes. It helped destress, give a sugar boost, prepare for a test, or just make them smile. Residents and RAs were really appreciative and could feel that we want our community to be academically focused.

Word Count: 194

Short evaluation of the program:

This passive program with all the goodies was extremely motivational for residents who lived in the Holmes, McCabe, and Stadium communities during finals. This program was a great success because by the end of each day all of the goodies would be gone and residents would ask when there would be more items out. This program motivated and engaged my residents even though it was not an active program. I was gauging interest and the resident’s favorite items were the pencils and erasers because they are useful for every aspect of finals, studying and test taking. I had made the mistake in previous years to hand sharpen pencils, and have since learned mechanical pencils are worth the extra money. Since the items were in the lobby and I would periodically restock and check, there was an atmosphere and support for all students in this stressful time. Finals Survival Stashes are beneficial for RAs and residents alike because whoever is hosting the program can make it as extravagant and big as they want depending on how much time and money they can invest.

Word Count: 182

How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

This passive goodie program is helpful for any campus near the end of any semester. It can be done by a Resident Assistant, Graduate Community Director, or an entire staff. You also do not need a huge budget to make this program successful. I was able to go to Walmart and the dollar store and get everything for the program for less than $200 for over 700 residents. Programming towards the end of the semester gets stressful not only for residents but also for my RAs who also have finals. I wanted to do something for them as well, and putting on a passive program was not only fun for me to create, but beneficial for all my students. This programming really engaged students throughout the week because some just needed to take a mental break from academics. This program can even be adapted to the entire campus. If a larger organization like RHA or even an NRHH chapter wanted to spearhead it. Encouraging signs could be mass printed and assembled by a larger group to have a bigger impact. Any size this program is, residents appreciate knowing that someone is thinking of them at this stressful time.

Word Count: 198

Date of entry into database: 2018-05-14 18:38:37

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