Why Campus Activity Board is Failing

By Anonymous

Have you felt the Campus Activities Board (CAB) events have been lackluster this semester? You are not the only one. While Berea College has never been well known for its party/entertainment scene, this semester has been especially sleepy in terms of activities. CAB has not achieved its own goal of offering “activities, facilities and services to enhance the quality of campus life for all members of the college community” and therefore, should be re-structured and decentralized.

CAB and Its Resources

CAB as an organization has been around for literally centuries, with some of its earliest records dating back to 1871. Yet, today’s CAB has proven unable to keep up with the needs of an average Berea student. Every student pays for CAB, but only few benefit from it. CAB is funded partly from the student activity fee, which every student has to pay each semester (don’t believe us? check your student account summary). The fee, $41 per student, is split almost evenly between CAB and the SGA. This means that 1661 students pay about $38,203 a semester to CAB, which is $7,640 dollars a month. As a result, CAB has almost $2,000 dollars every weekend for events. Unfortunately, few students have felt the benefit from these funds.

The few events that have been organized this semester have been emptier than many student-organized parties. For example, the Carnival Party, one of the two events organized this semester so far, had so few participants that you could count them with your hands. Perhaps, this was just a private CAB party that was accidentally advertised to the public. In mathematics, there is the golden ratio, there is the silver ratio and then there is the CAB ratio. Turns out the CAB ratio is one and a half trips per event for this semester.

The Berea Torch had contacted CAB to view their financial statements for the sake of this article and originally, was given permission to do so. On March 14th though, it was announced that even though all students have the right to view CAB’s financial statements, The Berea Torch staff were specifically barred from doing so. No such rule exists in the Student Handbook.

The Disappointment of CAB

Jokes aside, it is important to discuss why CAB has failed this semester and what we can do to improve it. Berea is undoubtedly a unique college with multiple positive attributes. However, accepting an education at Berea does not mean giving up on fun. Berea is not an urban area and life here often feels restricted. That, combined with the fact that there is such a limited amount of activities you can participate in, makes the experience rather bland and depressing at times. We have all said it once, don’t deny it. Apart from entertaining people, events create social interactions, friendships or just a space to talk about something on your mind. They also make the heavy load of Berea more manageable. Sometimes, students only survive through a day because they were anticipating an event to happen.

There are two main components necessary to develop weekly events that are of mutual interest and inclusive of the Berea College community. A successful event not only attracts people, but also makes them excited in future events. CAB has been unable to attract event participants. If that wasn’t enough, CAB has also struggled to keep the interest of many students.

The first and most basic aspect of attracting people to your event is the cost-benefit analysis because time is valuable and you need to convince someone to give you that time, even for an hour. Of course, Berea students have a wide range of demands and desires, but it’s not difficult to spot trends in their behaviour. The typical Berea student is motivated by free stuff and free food. Guess what happens when you provide enough food/snacks and/or clothing, such as T-shirts? Bereans will come your way. Once people come to the event, there is another important task: Keeping people’s attention. Because, if people do not enjoy the event itself, then they will most likely take the free goodies and leave.

Both of these are inherently linked to marketing, a.k.a. the way in which the event is ‘sold’ to the public. There have been numerous occasions where CAB events are advertised a presumably enjoyable pastime, only to disappoint the majority of attendees attending. It is clear that there is a disconnect between the economic resources that CAB holds and the quality of the events that they create.

How to Improve to CAB

Given the demands of the students, CAB’s financial resources, and the number of students working for CAB, at least one event funded and coordinated by CAB should be held bi-weekly, as their own website states. Given that this is not always the case and that the events that are organized have been disappointing, here are some alternative ways in which CAB can cater to students.

If CAB cannot handle the amount of money it receives from student activity fees, then it should open up its budget to the larger campus community. They should allow students to propose their own events using CAB’s budget on weeks that CAB themselves have none. Also, the financial records of CAB should be publicly available on their website so that students do not have to find time out of their day to head into the CAB office when the correct people are available to view them. If all students have to pay for CAB, then all students should have the right to participate and be informed about it. Only then, will their events serve more students with fulfilling and enjoyable events.

4 responses to “Why Campus Activity Board is Failing”

  1. Yes, Cab has disappointed us this semester and many of the events are poorly programmed

  2. i agree. can events have gone downhill for the most part but i really enjoyed the Carnival dance. people just didn’t give that a chance. but i do believe if they would allow more of a variety of music at the dance besides the same 10 songs shuffled (dumb twerk music) then the turn out would be better

  3. I was on CABs board and felt it was a really exclusive club and left. I haven’t thought about going back since. Most of the ideas I had were shut down. I tried to get a variety passed at the retreat but it wasnt possible.

  4. Yes, cab is incredibly exclusive. It’s annoying that the only music they ever play is trap. Not everyone likes that crap. I had no idea that we pay a fee as students or that they have so much cash to blow. We could be having seriously awesome parties every weekend??! B**** get out.

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