Issues



September, 2012 Issue

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Campus Activities LIVE! - Methodist University

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Methodist University is a small private institution located in Fayetteville, North Carolina and is one of the fastest growing young campuses in the Southeast. "The university is still fairly young," says Doris Jackson Munoz, Director of Campus Life at Methodist. "We were founded in 1956 and have approximately 2,400 students enrolled. About 1,100 of those live on campus and comprise the core of the group we are programming for."

The more prominent majors on campus include nursing, business and others found on campuses across the country, but one unique area of study MU has to offer has gotten them some notation. "Our highlighted program that not many other schools have is a PGA approved professional golf management major. It is one of the top schools on the East coast and our women's golf team has been national champions for Division III for the past 15 years in a row." Biology, physical education, psychology and business round out the educational offerings.

The Student Activities Committee is a highly active and large one for such a modestly sized campus. Dequan Bradley, director of event logistics of SAC, gives us more detail. "We have about 40 members which includes a board of directors with 8 people. Each member has a specific job as chair of a committee, including director of social media, event logistics, publicity, talent management, sound and a couple general assistant executive members that float around as needed."

As readers have noticed by now, the committee structure here is a little bit different from most schools who tend to divide their boards by genres of entertainment (comedy chair, concerts, films etc), whereas MU has made a concerted effort at flawless logistics by focusing their committees on more general production oriented specialties. "It is definitely easier to manage and maintain things because we can all work together on each show, we don't individually have to worry about running around and trying to remember so many details by ourselves," Brittany Wiggs, director of human resources, says. "We work in pairs most of the time, especially any time there is anything important going on." Apparently there are not large scale fights over who gets to be the talent management chair, which is weird, since all entertainers are so famously easy to work with. The three assistants float around as needed.

Adorya Elliott is one of those floaters and tells us about some of the traditional events that do well each year on campus. "We always have a come back party at the beginning of the school year and we have a lot of food and novelties available for students. This seems to do a good job of getting the freshmen interested in who and what we are and in coming to the events."

Dequan says their annual casino nights are very successful as well. "We used to hold them in the fall but have now moved this event to the spring and it is huge. Many people are lined up and fighting to get inside that event each year." On the last day of classes each semester, SAC also sponsors an "exam breakfast," which has been very popular.

When it comes to space, MU has a good selection for a campus with their population. "We have about an 1,100 square foot space in the Berns Student Center, which is a common grounds where all the students are used to hanging out. There is also the Nimocks Fitness and Wellness Center, which has the basketball court available to us when we need that large of an area. The Reeves Auditorium is a venue we share with local productions, so it houses not only events from SAC but also local shows and other promoters or content producers. We have a pretty good amount of space to work with."

Adorya says MU's SAC has a favorite four letter word, and it's "free." "Our students expect to be able to come attend our events with no money at all because they know they are covered in full. With such a small campus atmosphere, we are like a family here and when you invite your family to dinner, you don't ask them to bring $5 (laughs)."

The SAC hosts events weekly at the very least, there is not a Wednesday night that goes by without something for students, in addition to other events the organization cosponsors. "Every single Wednesday, there is a program and that doesn't include all the other programs we collaborate on with other departments at the university," Adorya says. Just with the athletics department we collaborate on several events, so there is always something going on."

The school has a healthy budget for a school of it's size and location, at about $170,000 per year. "It's extremely healthy for us," Doris says, "but consider it does also cover the upkeep and maintenance of two student centers as well. On an average Wednesday night though, we typically spend between $3,000-$4,000 on talent, production and goodies for students."

Methodist University has a great board structure, venues, a good location for routing (off I-95) and a great budget. No wonder they've been nominated the last three years in a row for our Best Campus Program of the year in our annual awards. Maybe this year, they'll even take the title.

For more information on MU or SAC, contact Doris Munoz at 910.630.7022 or dmunoz@methodist.edu