Staff and students combating ‘suitcase campus’

By Logan Arneson, Contributing Writer
Here at West Liberty University, there is occasional complications on finding activities that will make students want to stay over the weekend instead of commuting back home, ultimately leaving the hilltop a ghost town for the most part. However, staff members are implementing new ideas to improve on campus involvement.

Coordinator of campus activities, Kate Billings, is always working to see what students want to see or do more of. 
“Our goal here is to create a better culture here on campus. We cannot change it overnight and part of it has to come from the students,” said Billings. Touching on the fact that students want to go home to see family and work jobs, Billings stated that students need to do their part and try to attend more events, raising the population on the weekends.
Big events like the hypnotist and the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight proved that students will show up for activities; it is just a matter of what else will get everyone to keep coming back. 
Another way staff is helping the problem is by partnering with clubs and organizations, allowing students to see what these clubs are about and hopefully join. Trying to push students to stay over the weekend, Billings said, “Every semester one resident assistant will have to do a weekend program within their hall.” However, there is a downside. Billings said, “Budget restrictions can limit the amount of stuff that can be held here on campus.”
Wanting to appeal to the general public, Billings and other student life staff would like to know more ideas of what students would like to do. 
With the freshmen enrollment  jumping up 14 percent as of Aug. 22, Billings is confident that there will be more attendance at campus activities. For potential students, staff tells them to look online to see what type of activities goes on up here on the hilltop. 
Publicizing events is key for allowing more students to see what they can get involved in. Billings tries to push more events to public relations chairman, Maureen Zambito, so that more students can stay up to date with what is going on. Hoping to eventually turn the hilltop into an overnight weekend campus, staff and students can work together and become more involved.
Photo credit: Jalyn Bolyard