There’s no such thing as a free event.
Central Oregon Community College students pay $1.50 per credit hour in student fees, up to $18 per term. $325,000 of the Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College budget comes from these student fees. Student council spends $34,000 of student fees on social programs and events for COCC students, according to the 2012-13 ASCOCC council budget.
On Jan. 31, 2013, ASCOCC hosted a Free Ice Skating Night for COCC students. The overall cost for this event was $276. With 46 students attending, it amounted to $6 per student.
School events like this help to bring students together and promote more of a “campus community,” said Taran Underdal, advisor of ASCOCC.
“My job and ASCOCC’s job is engaging students and events are one way to do that,” said Underdal. “We know that engaged students who create a sense of community or bonds outside of the classroom typically do better in college in terms of getting better grades, transferring, and graduating on time.”
Alex Bresler, events and activities director for ASCOCC, agrees that ASCOCC sponsored student events are a helpful way to encourage students to participate in something outside of school activities.
“There is a lot of pressure with school: midterms, finals, making grades,” said Bresler. “I think [students] should have some school spirit and activities and fun things to do with families as well as something that relieves the stress you get from school.”
Bresler attempts to choose activities that interest students and seeks to work with the companies that offer the lowest rates for the amount of students expected to attend.
“At the beginning of the year, I wasn’t sure how many students to plan for; now I have a better idea of how many to expect,” said Bresler. “I am given a certain amount of money and then I just judge and kind of bargain with different places to see who can give me a better deal for the amount of students we have.”
Events that involve students and encourage them to participate in the community are helpful to student development, according to Bresler.
“[Student] government sponsored events should try and take students out into the community of Bend,” said Bresler. “When students can go to these community events and say they’re from the school and hang out with friends from the school, it is a good way to show the community our students.”
Student events are one of the ways ASCOCC council seeks to engage students and help encourage success, according to Underdal.
“ASCOCC and the role they are providing, not only activities but services as a whole, is really instrumental in a lot of student’s success,” said Underdal.