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The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Where are all the students? Well, not at campus events

Less than a dozen students and faculty attended UNK’s Daily Mile event. Photo by Kosuke Yoshii / Antelope Staff

Organizers plan for events anywhere from days, weeks or months in advance; solidifying all the details to guarantee everything goes smoothly. Then, when the big day rolls around and the event has started – no one shows up.

Many events on campus this year have had little to no turnout.

Our team has seen the impacts of this while producing The Antelope this semester. As our reporters and photographers have gone out to cover events, they’ve noticed a trend in low attendance.

In one of our recent issues of The Antelope, we covered the Health and Physical Education Club’s Daily Mile. Turnout for this event did not make it past a handful of students. While our reporter still found it doable to write an article about the event, our photographer had a harder time. Capturing a wide range of pictures can be hard when attendance barely reaches five students, one being our reporter.

A similar instance also occurred when covering No Lonely Loper, a suicide prevention event. Our reporter found no students in attendance when she stopped by near the start of the event. The event was located at Brewed Awakening in West Center. Yet, when our photographer asked those around about the event, including the workers at Brewed Awakening, no one could provide her with details.

These two instances required our design team to be more creative. We typically include a photospread in our newspapers but were unable to for our last two issues. This was in part due to our photographers being unable to get diverse photos since there were limited people to photograph. 

Another issue our staff has run into is events ending earlier than the scheduled time. Both the No Lonely Loper event and the Black Student Association’s cookout ended half an hour early. Low turnout might have influenced this decision.

We have a few ideas for why students are not showing up at events.

Many campus events are held throughout the school day. These are inconvenient times for students. Trying to make it to an event on campus in between going to classes is difficult if not impossible.

An example happening this week is the Career and Internship Fair being held from 12:30-3:30 p.m. While the fair is running for a larger window of time, it might be hard for a student to make it over to the Health and Sports Center between classes and lunch. 

We know a lot of teachers allow students to attend the event instead of class but realize all still can’t attend.

To help combat low attendance at campus events, our team recommends coordinating events with students’ schedules better and increasing promotion.

UNK and campus organizations use a variety of platforms that can help promote events: the university calendar, student bulletin, social media posts, Presence and flyers around campus. Increasing usage across all of these outlets instead of a select few might help make students more aware of what’s happening on campus.

College is a time when students can get involved and make memories. They shouldn’t have to miss out due to conflicting schedules or underutilized advertising.

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