Tyler Mcdanel | Staff Writer
A new incentive program will be initiated next fall by Residence Life in order to promote a greater sense of community and active involvement on campus.
According to Residence Director for Grand and Liberty Anjie Swidergal, students will receive Study Bucks to reward positive behaviors, like “getting caught studying” or “engaging in campus activities, such as going to games and events.” This will likely include student involvement in extra-curricular activities such as Student MOVE and Senate.
Bob Masunzu is the Resident Advisor (RA) on first floor Grand where the idea developed. He says that students who go to events and show their RA that they have “proof, such as showing them a picture,” will have their Study Bucks card punched and will be one step closer to winning a prize, “such as a TV or a radio.”
The incentive program is the creation of Masunzu and Swidergal. The inspiration for this program came from a dialogue between Masunzu and Swidergal concerning community building. According to both Masunzu and Swidergal, the idea was first considered for Grand and Liberty exclusively, but later extended to include the entire campus.
Swidergal said that there was a “similar program” at her undergraduate college, and she thinks the program will have a positive impact on fostering campus involvement here at BVU. “Community is especially important for this technological generation who may struggle with face to face interactions or stay strongly connected to home and high school friends through technological means,” Swidergal said.
It should be noted that the Study Bucks Program will not cover ACES Events, which are required for first and second year students. However, the program will cover SAB events and similar events hosted by other student groups.
In the technological age in which we live, more people are communicating via technological means like Skype and Facebook, reducing face-to-face contact. This has negatively affected the manner in which people communicate, hence the logic for a positive form of reinforcement.
“The way the program works is through the use of a punch card,” Swidergal said. “When the card is punched out, students will be eligible to either get a prize directly or be entered into a raffle.”
According to Masunzu, the goal of the Study Bucks Program is to “make people act more like a community and build closer relationships.” Swidergal adds that the reasoning behind this program is to work towards creating a “positive college experience. The bigger goal is to reward those who already have the disposition to get involved or be academically strong,” Swidergal said. The logic goes that some students will not be receptive to this kind of program, but others will benefit.
When asked if the Study Bucks Program would be applied to help curb campus alcohol use and reward academic success, Swidergal said that this has not currently been taken into consideration, but the program is still being constructed and will ultimately be left up to the committee in charge of development.
Right now, the program is in its developmental stage. The fine points of this program will be determined this semester and over the course of the summer and will be in place in the fall of 2012.