April, 2014 Issue

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19 online articles from this issue. Next

Eastern New Mexico University


It's no secret that we have a few of campuses who are incredibly active with Campus Activities Magazine, always seeming to show up in the Awards and turning in consistently high numbers of Artist Report CardsŪ. So, we found it as a bit of an upset when Eastern New Mexico University was able to pull out the Award for Best Campus Program for 2014 when the likes of Winthrop University and The University Of Akron were nominated, but it's clear this western school has a great, quality program that the artists and agents in the campus market found worthy of voting for as the winner of this Award.

Draco Miller is the Director of Campus Life at ENMU and tells us a little bit about the campus and its programming. "The school has 5800 students, which includes graduate and undergrads. The majority of the programming we do is aimed at the undergrad population, but it's open to and attended by all students. But probably 98% of the students who regularly attend are undergrads."

There is a large on campus population. "We have over 3,000 on campus, which includes folks in the dorms or in the immediate area around the small town of Portales, where the campus is located. We are about 3.5 hours south of Albuquerque, the largest city in our state, and an hour and ten minutes from Lubbock, Texas. There are over 115,000 people in that city which includes several clubs and bars, but generally we don?t seem to have to fight the night life for student attention with our events, because we are very careful about how we schedule our programming."

The Associated Student Activities Board is very crafty about not competing with either sporting events, or weekend draws. "We strategically place our programming during the week. Hardly ever do we program on Friday, Saturday or Sunday because many times students will leave campus during those times. On Monday nights, the only programming we do are free movie nights. Tuesdays through Thursdays have all of our other programming, from comedians to hypnotists, music and novelties."

The school does set up what they refer to as "swag stations" on the weekends, where the ASAB goes out to support their athletic events with novelty programming. "We may bring in a zip line or other novelty, game or set up takeaway novelties for the students. Face and body painting, signage, noise makers, photo booths and those sort of things work well in those settings."

The ASAB is an active board, programming steadily throughout both semesters. "We will average 80 events a year. Of those 40 per semester, we do six movie nights, nine live entertainment events and the rest in various novelty, speaking or other types of events."

The board is divided into four distinct departments. "Entertainment, music, special events and membership are our four departments. Entertainment is in charge of anything that is nonmusical and non-novelty, like comedians, hypnotists, magicians, jugglers, contortionists and other variety acts. Music is self-explanatory of course, special events is sort of a catch-all. We do a lot of novelties and games, party or club nights, casino nights, inflatables, etc. Membership doesn't really plan events per se, except for philanthropic programs, but they take care of our members and host members-only parties and events."

Comedy is king on the ENMU campus. "The biggest draw we have are comedians by far. Music brings in ten events a semester as well, anything from acoustic and a cappella to full rock and pop bands."

Each of the departments also employs techniques to stretch their budget for more programming. "They also each have what we call 'Eastern Homegrown Events.' Music does many of those like karaoke and open mic nights and we do a play off of 'America's Got Talent' we call 'Eastern's Got Talent.' It is a huge talent show where we give out prize money."

The ASAB is a large and active board with nearly 40 members, and are clearly doing something right, being voted this year's Best Campus Program.

Draco Miller: (575) 562-2108