The Student Experience Wins Big At CSUnity

The Student Experience Wins Big At CSUnity


On August 5, 2017, ASI’s Marketing, Design and Public Relations (MDPR) department was awarded the CSUnity Excellence Award in the category of Best Communication & Marketing Campaign for “The Great Idea Swap” poster competition.

Associated Students Inc. (ASI) is known for hosting creative and innovative events here at Cal Poly Pomona (CPP). From music concerts such as BroncoFusion to de-stressing events such as Midnight Madness, the ASI vision statement of “Enhancing the Student Experience” is always the driving force behind events such as these.

With this vision statement in mind, MDPR introduced a completely new quarterly event known as The Student Experience during the 2016-17 school year. The event highlights the different ways students can get involved with ASI programs and events through an interactive presentation given by student brand ambassadors known as the Fab Five.

A room full of students eagerly listen to The Student Experience presentation given by two Fab Five members
A room full of students eagerly listen to The Student Experience presentation given by two Fab Five members

MDPR saw the need to create this presentation to connect with students, such as transfer students, who do not receive an ASI introduction course during their CPP orientation. MDPR also saw this as the perfect opportunity to introduce ASI’s “You Belong Here” marketing campaign.

“It is a huge honor to receive this award for this program,” said Kim Sumida, ASI communications, social media and external relations coordinator, who is responsible for the creation of The Student Experience.

You Belong Here posters lead the way into The Student Experience at the Bronco Student Center, Ursa Major (Bldg. 35-2611)
You Belong Here posters lead the way into The Student Experience at the Bronco Student Center, Ursa Major (Bldg. 35-2611)

ASI President Farris Hamza and ASI Vice President Carlos Gomez attended the 2017 CSUnity Conference, which brought together student leaders and professional staff from the 23 CSU campuses, at Fresno State University from Thursday, Aug. 3 to Sunday, Aug. 6. and participated in “The Great Idea Swap” poster sessions.

According to the CSUnity poster guidelines, “The Great Idea Swap” was an opportunity for CSU campuses to “showcase an innovative idea, program, initiative, or best practice.” Upon reading the guidelines, Hamza and Gomez immediately knew the program they wanted to highlight on behalf of ASI was The Student Experience.

“We could have highlighted our facilities or projects that we are working on and whatnot, but more often than not, we never highlight the aspects of outreach to students and that is something I think we do excel at,” said Hamza. “We find countless students getting engaged and involved every day by asking us questions about what they can be doing to get involved with the campus because of experiences like this.”

 ASI Presents: The Student Experience poster wins Best Communication & Marketing Campaign at the 2017 CSUnity Conference
ASI Presents: The Student Experience poster wins Best Communication & Marketing Campaign at the 2017 CSUnity Conference 

During the poster sessions from Aug. 4-5, conference attendees and judges were able to visualize, interact and engage in one-on-one discussions with Hamza and Gomez regarding The Student Experience poster. Attendees immediately became drawn to the poster because they quickly realized that there was a need for year-round outreach on their campuses as well.

“Lots of departments on campus do their outreach during fall quarter, and then never again. So if you miss it during fall quarter, you are out of luck unless you know where to go,” said Gomez. “What The Student Experience does is it gives people a second chance, a third chance. It basically makes that information available every quarter. That is what everyone thought was unique.”

Posters were evaluated on multiple criteria regarding appearance and content, such as the complexity of the idea and clarity of the content. Once the poster sessions concluded, conference attendees and presenters attended a lunch on Saturday, Aug. 5, during which Hamza and Gomez accepted the award on behalf of MDPR.

Other award categories included Board and/or Leadership Development, Community Based Program, Campus-Based Partnership and Creating Innovative Spaces on Campus.

Students cheer at The Student Experience in hopes of scoring some free ASI swag passed out by Fab Five members
Students cheer at The Student Experience in hopes of scoring some free ASI swag passed out by Fab Five members

This is also not the first time The Student Experience has been recognized for its groundbreaking student outreach efforts. On Tuesday, June 13, CPP Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Lea Jarnagin, presented Sumida and the MDPR full-time staff team with the Innovation Award at the Division of Student Affairs Year End Celebration and Awards event.

“Not too long ago, I was a CPP transfer student looking to find my belonging on campus,” Sumida shared in regards to why she developed this program, “and I know firsthand how difficult it can be to find opportunities to get involved and connect with other students on campus.  The Student Experience offers students multiple opportunities to learn about the many ways in which they can get involved with ASI while providing a space for students to make face-to-face connections with current ASI student leaders and staff.”

Want to see what an award-winning presentation looks like? Check out this recap video of The Student Experience from winter quarter 2017.

Be sure to join us for the next Student Experience on Thursday, Oct. 26 from noon to 1 p.m. at the BSC, Ursa Minor (Bldg. 35-2135). Doors open promptly at 11:30 a.m. and the first 40 attendees will receive a free You Belong Here T-shirt.

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