Our Top 5 Event Ideas for Small College Campuses
As a campus activities board member, hosting top quality student events can be a challenge. Of course, this is the case at any school for a number of reasons. There are always limits when it comes to the amount of time that you and other student activities board members have. Plus, budgetary limitations are always a reality.
At smaller campuses, though, issues of time, budget, and other resources can be especially difficult to manage. While a university with 30,000 or more students might have hundreds or thousands (or millions!) of dollars allocated to its activities budget, a smaller school will often have to make do with a small fraction of that. As a result, it can feel like your options are pretty limited when it comes to putting together college entertainment and activities that will both make students happy and conform to logistical limitations.
Fear not, though! There are plenty of awesome event ideas out there for smaller schools. In fact, being small can make your events even better than at a larger campus. Consider this: big schools have dozens of events happening all the time on every corner of the campus. At a smaller school, your events will likely be the focal point of the day (maybe even the week) for most students. This means that engagement will be higher, and getting plenty of attendees for events will likely be easier. A hugely successful event on a small campus -- where almost every student attends -- can feel like a big win.
Ready for some amazing small campus event ideas? Let’s get started!
- Meet the Graduates
Big campuses will end up with all sorts of famous graduates. It’s a numbers game, after all: the more people who graduate from a school each year, the higher the odds are that one of them will launch the next Facebook or star in a major Hollywood film.
On the flip side, though, the fact that a hugely successful entrepreneur or celebrity can call a big state school with 40,000 students their alma mater doesn’t typically feel all that significant to the students currently attending the same school. But when someone really makes it to the big time (in business, entertainment, sports, or any other field) after coming from a school of, say, 700 or 1,000 students, it’s kind of a big deal. Bringing them back to campus can make for a very intimate and highly personal event. After all, given how small the student body is, the majority of the students who attend will actually be able to meet this person and share a word with them one-on-one. This kind of an event can be super exciting for students, assuming you pick the right person to host.
- Late Night Study Breakfast
One of the most important things to consider when it comes to small campus events if the importance of building a campus community. At a smaller school, everyone will eventually start to recognize just about everyone else -- it’s impossible not to, given the numbers involved and the frequency with which people will see each other. Anything you can do to foster real connection between students, then, will go a long way towards creating a positive and friendly atmosphere on campus.
A late night study breakfast is an easy way to build comradery, especially during finals time. You provide the pancakes, bacon, eggs, and coffee, and offer students a chance to come mix, mingle, and de-stress during a finals study break.
- Host a Hiking Trip
If your campus is located near (meaning, within a day’s drive of) opportunities for outdoor activities, hosting a big hiking trip is a great option for smaller schools. This is another situation where a sizeable portion of the student body may be able to attend, and nothing creates lasting memories quite like time spent in the outdoors.
- Offer a Free Yoga Class
Particularly when exams are coming up, it’s easy for college students to end up overworked and overstressed. Yoga is a great way to decompress, relax, stretch, and breathe a little. Depending on the weather, consider hosting a free yoga class for students outside on the quad. Invite a local area yoga instructor -- it’s great exposure for them, and students will love it.
- Majors on the Quad
On small campuses, it’s important to help first year students adjust quickly so that they begin to feel like members of the campus community. Hosting a couple of events early on in the fall targeted at first year students is a great way to do this, especially if those events involve helping these students connect with students in their third and fourth years on campus. One idea is to invite seniors and first year students out for a “majors on the quad” mixer, where new students can ask seniors questions about what they’re studying, what they like about it, and what they can expect if they were to choose that major.
- BONUS: Booking Entertainment
As a smaller school, it may be difficult to find, book, and coordinate entertainment in the form of musicians, comedians, and speakers. But it doesn’t have to be! In fact, bringing quality entertainers to a small campus has never been easier thanks to ArtistHub. Here at AristHub, we connect student activities boards with quality entertainers -- and we handle all of the details. Browse our directory of artists, speakers, and stand-up comedians, and book them directly through our website. Ready to get started? Click here to sign up for a free account today!