College’s student-run programming unit honored by NACA

Students taking a selfie on the hot air balloon

Pioneer Activities Council (PAC), the student-run programming unit for Marietta College, was yet again recognized for its programming and promotional efforts at the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Mid-America Conference.

At this year’s NACA conference, which was held in Covington, Kentucky, from October 26-29, PAC was honored with awards for Outstanding Campus Collaboration and Best Non-Poster Advertisement.

The Outstanding Campus Collaboration award was given in recognition of PAC’s involvement with helping bring back Doo Dah Day this past spring. A successful relaunch of Doo Dah Day was an undertaking that relied upon the skills and spirit of PAC members as well as those of several other organizations across campus.

“The Doo Dah Day Committee was a conglomerate of major student groups on campus, including the Pioneer Activities Council, Student Government Association, Greek Life, Office of Community Living, Diversity and Inclusion, Alumni Association, Marietta College Bookstore, and community partners,” said Whitley Trusler ’17, Interim Coordinator of Student Activities. “We worked for over a year to compile a list of activities that honored the original Doo Dah Day celebrations, including carnival games, a throwback dance party, student performers, cookout, pie eating contest, field games, alcohol for those of age, and the iconic hot air balloon.”

Throughout the event, PAC members could be found happily hosting carnival games and making cotton candy and Sno-cones. They also assisted with the PAC-sponsored PioDome, a popular student event that includes bubble soccer, archery tag, a free-fall jump, and Wipeout inspired inflatable, which was integrated into this year’s Doo Dah Day festivities.

In total, 12 collaborating organizations and community partners worked together to host Doo Dah Day, a massive event which saw nearly half of the students on campus come out and participate.

It was the Promotions & Marketing Committee that brought home the second award for PAC this year. The Best Non-Poster Advertisement award was given for this semester's magnet calendar of events. Supporting this year's Homecoming theme of "There's No Place Like Homecoming" by being The Wizard of Oz-themed, the magnet featured a yellow brick road that fades to blue and ends at "Emerald City," represented by Marietta's Erwin tower. As with semesters past, this magnet served as a piece of advertising for PAC that promoted all of the events taking place throughout the semester.

With NACA Mid-America featuring 53 schools from six states this year, being awarded for programming and promotions serves as a positive indicator of the great work being done by PAC to benefit the Marietta College campus community.

“A programming award signifies that we are continuing to evolve how we program here at Marietta College,” Trusler said. “It indicates growth in an ever-changing campus environment. Winning an award at the NACA conference also allows us to gauge the quality of our programming compared to other campuses similar to ours. It’s exciting when we come out on top for these awards because the students that lead this organization put hours of work in to ensure that we continue to have an engaged student population.”

PAC members continue to show their passion for bringing interesting and quality programming to campus. With that, they always encourage students to attend their weekly meeting to share their thoughts and ideas on how the organization can improve.

In addition to bringing ideas to meetings, which take place at 6:00 p.m. on Mondays in McDonough 205, students can consider joining one of the committees that comprise PAC to get more involved in helping program directors put on events.

It is this sort of participation and investment by students which allows PAC to continue to improve and bring programming that interests the student body.

“Being student-led and operated allows an influx of ideas for events from the student population,” Trusler said. “I only graduated last year, but the types of events students want to see is already shifting. If you would have a staff member trying to organize events for our population on campus, I don’t think they would be anywhere near as successful as PAC is. The students in PAC know what their peers want because they spend their days with them in classrooms, dorm rooms, the dining hall, and in other student organizations. They have the opportunity to understand what students want to see on campus and come back to our meetings where they turn their ideas into new events.”

Already looking ahead to next semester, PAC is finalizing their spring schedule of events which is set to include some seasonal favorites, including Stuff-a-Plush and The Vibe, and engaging acts, from the debut of acoustic duo Scott & Chris debuting on campus on February 8 to the return of comedian Jen Kober on March 24.