SLAP seeks student input for event planning

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Some people don’t like to party and this gives them something better to do than get drunk.”


Provocative acronym aside, Student Led Activity Programming, which is behind many of the Student Government Association-sponsored activities on campus, is a concept that has gone back decades according to Krista Swahn, director of student activities at Johnson State College.

Nevertheless, most people only know about it through the $246 fee tacked on for the school year.

“Every matriculated student seeking a degree pays a student activity fee,” she said. “That fee is the budget for SLAP, the SGA, clubs, and the badger bullet.” Of the collected fee, SLAP receives only a portion.

Swahn said whenever a student goes to one of the free events on campus, including performances, bands, popular events like the J-Spot, or uses the badger bullet which goes to Burlington on the weekends, they’ve taken advantage of the student activity fee.

A lot of students say there is nothing to do in the rural setting, she said. SLAP members are working hard to change that with weekly events.  The challenge is getting the word out. Activity Coordinator Kelsie Magee is in charge of the Potty Press that lists the upcoming events (for readers unaware of what the Potty Press is, it is a bulletin hung in the stalls for bathroom-goers’ delight), there’s updates on the school’s web calendar, a Facebook page, and she’s set up tables at school games with cider and information.

“We want to hear what people want to see more of,” Magee said. “People pay for it – so they should use it!” She said if people have ideas to contact her or post on the Facebook page “Johnson State College SLAP.”

Some students dislike the idea of paying for services they feel they won’t use.

“I think it’s worth it to the people who go to the activities, but it’s basically not useful to me,” Richard Deeb, a sophomore majoring in business, said. “I’m a college kid, you know, and I don’t have a lot of money. I could use it on something else, like books.”

Ryan Downs, an anthropology-sociology major and senior, also has reservations about the program, but not necessarily because of the fee. He said he’s gone to a few of the events, like the recent open mic night.

“It’s not that it bothers me, but I would like to have more of a say – there needs to be more transparency,” he said, “especially anything that claims to be student-run.” He said he felt that a lot of things claiming to be student-led on the campus are more adviser-run. “I don’t feel like we are viewed as adults here.”

Other students find SLAP activities an important part of their time at Johnson.

Babs Licygiewicz, a freshman with an undecided major, not only attends a lot of the SLAP activities, she said looks forward to what they may do in the winter. Snowball fights, snowmen contests, and maybe even igloos, she hopes.

“Some people don’t like to party and this gives them something better to do than get drunk,” she said. “I like that they provide alternate choices. If you look at the Potty Press there are tons of things to do here. If you choose not to do it, that’s your loss. You pay for it, take advantage!”

Her friend Jon Howard, a senior with a double major in musical theatre and English, agreed with her. “I think SLAP creates a more positive atmosphere and gives us more to do,” he said. “We are a little secluded here and options can be limited.”

Some of the SLAP activities he’s been to: laser tag, roller-blading, a bonfire, and movie nights.
Swahn said the program is a social venue for students.

“SLAP is important because there is more to college than the academics…” she said. “This is a way to meet people you might not have known from classes and create new relationships.”

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