On Tuesday, Feb. 4, Eric Dittelman will perform live in Corley Auditorium on the campus of Missouri Southern.
For the average student, the event will serve as a means to break up the monotony of the typical school week. Leading up to the event, students will see Dittelman’s name on the black sandwich boards around campus and they will try to remember to mark the date into their planners when they get to class. Some of those students will accomplish this challenge and will later be rewarded with a dynamite show. What the average student might not realize is how much work went into making the show possible.
I joined the Student Activities Office as the Director of Student Activities in June. Since that time I have been caught up in a whirlwind of magicians, photo booths, movies and picnics. Through it all I have had the incredible support of one of the most hardworking groups on campus: the Campus Activities Board.
Last fall’s Homecoming theme was “Be a Hero.” For me and the rest of the Student Activities Office, the true heroes are the students that donate their time and energy into making our events possible. For students going to see Eric Dittelman, they will walk up, sit down and watch a show. For the Campus Activities Board, the journey began a year ago at the National Association for Campus Activities conference in Nashville, Tenn.
In Music City, several members of the Campus Activities Board took some time away from the “Harlem Shake” to scout out as many entertainment options at possible. Over a three-day period, students met with more than 50 entertainers, tested over 15 novelties, attended 30 education sessions and acquired two parking tickets.
One of the entertainers they met was Dittelman, who was fresh off a semi-final appearance on Season 7 of “America’s Got Talent.” After he successfully read the mind of Craig Gullett, Coordinator of Student Activities (Craig’s first crush is Emily, by the way), Dittelman was pushed to the top of CAB’s 2013-14 programming wish list. Eight months later during a planning meeting for the spring, CAB demanded that Dittelman be brought to campus.
As an office, we strive to deliver on the students’ requests. In the case of Dittelman, the Campus Activities Board had made themselves loud and clear – bring him to campus, no matter what it takes! Fortunately, we were able to make it happen. After some back and forth with Franco Talent (Dittelman’s agency), the date was set for Feb. 4.
The work doesn’t end there. Between the scheduling date and the performance, CAB will hang flyers, decorate sandwich boards and facilitate the event. During that time, the Student Activites Office staff will work to get the details out to the public via social media, the academic calendar, campus updates, press releases and newsletters.
On Feb. 4, students will attend a one-night event. They will have an awesome time and they will leave glad that they were able to make it to the performance. What most of those students won’t realize is all of the work put into the event by so many people to make it possible.
Dianne Vlasin will have worked tirelessly to have the event promoted on the campus sign and academic calendar. Ashley Eriksen will have meticulously created promotional graphics for marketing materials. Scott Meeker in will have pushed out information to the campus and community. Craig Gullett will have exchanged countless emails with agents in addition to paying off two parking tickets to the state of Tennessee. Many other MSSU employees will have provided tremendous support to make the event possible.
But unlike the aforementioned, the Campus Activities Board will have done all of their work as volunteers. Next time you see a fellow student volunteering at an event, be sure to thank them for making your night of entertainment possible. There is no doubt they deserve it.
Landon Adams is the Director of Student Activities at Missouri Southern State University.