RAs, programming offices comment on scarce student turnout at Hill events
The UCLA Scholarship Resource Center reaches a lot of students but has trouble keeping them interested in the center’s programming, said the center’s Student Affairs Advisor Mac Harris. The center, located on the Hill at Covel Commons, offers resources for students seeking scholarship opportunities. (Kanishka Mehra/Daily Bruin)
By Anna Whittle
Feb. 7, 2019 12:16 a.m.
Resident assistants and programming offices on the Hill said they struggle to boost turnout at events on the Hill due to students’ varied interests and schedules.
Attendance tends to fluctuate at events on the Hill, depending on the years of the residents and the appeal of the planned activity, said Sean Fontaine, an RA and third-year communication student. However, he said he has always had at least eight to 20 people show up to his events.
“As has happened in both of my years as an RA, there is usually a group of residents that show up to a lot of events, and a large group of residents that do not show up to any at all,” Fontaine said. “When it comes to some of the more important educational events, it sometimes feels as though those who could benefit most aren’t there.”
The UCLA Scholarship Resource Center reaches a lot of students but has trouble keeping them interested in the center’s programming, said the center’s Student Affairs Advisor Mac Harris. The center, located on the Hill at Covel Commons, offers resources for students seeking scholarship opportunities.
“We definitely have plenty of instances where students schedule an appointment and don’t show up or come once and don’t come back,” Harris said. “We really only work closely with maybe 5 percent of the students that we meet with.”
Harris said the SRC is always trying to attract more students despite time and budget restrictions. The center has previously partnered with Residential Life to put on workshops and events for new students living on the Hill. He said the center uses bulletin board listings, flyers around campus and a table on Bruin Walk to promote events.
“The amount of staff we have who can devote time to advertising and the budget we can spend on advertising varies from year to year depending on how well-funded we are,” Harris said.
Iven Chen-Van Dyk, a first-year chemical engineering student, said most people only attend events on the Hill if they have a group of people to go with. He said he likes activities he can attend with friends.
“I attended some down in Carnesale (Commons) because they seemed like they would be fun and others because I like to chat with the resident assistants,” Chen-Van Dyk said. “I think the creative events are quite good, like when we painted pumpkins or made a gingerbread house.”
Fontaine and Trey Crossley, a resident assistant and third-year computer engineering student, said they have the freedom to come up with their own ideas for floor events. RAs tend to work together to plan bigger events for the whole building, Fontaine said.
“I usually try to gauge what the building would enjoy as well as the situational needs as people are stressing through a number of things in the quarter system,” Fontaine said. “My co-resident assistant and I usually discuss our programs after we’ve come up with them already, although occasionally we’ll band together to work on a bigger program if we’re really excited about it.”
Crossley said he and his co-resident assistants learned how to manage their quarterly budget of $150 per floor by hosting a mix of smaller events that cost less and larger, more expensive ones. He said one of his floor’s biggest events of the quarter will cost around $50, a third of their quarterly allowance. He added he thinks the student make-up of residential floors can affect turnout.
“My floor is primarily freshmen, so I’m sure that factors into it,” Crossley said. “But especially the social ones, like the karaoke nights – basically half of our floor comes to them.”