As the semester comes to a close, students have become noticeably less motivated to put effort into promoting their organizational events. For decades, banners have been the flagship method for spreading the word around campus. However, controversy has arisen over the old-fashioned approach, and many are calling for change. Students have long complained about the inconvenient amount of time they have to spend passing out flyers and holding banners in the weeks prior to their events. Recently, some innovative organizations have remedied this problem by utilizing the extensive network of foreign exchange students at Texas A&M.
Brian Hirsh, the head director of one of the obscure new men’s organizations on campus, noticed the reluctance to sign up for banner shifts early on. “At the beginning of the semester, we had no problem getting our members to go out and promote events with banners. We would just play ‘Closer’ by the Chainsmokers on repeat, and we were fine. But even that stopped working, so we had to try something new.” Brian decided to hire a translator and venture into the Foreign Language Department, where he was able to recruit eleven foreign exchange students to rotate through the banner shifts. “It has worked out fantastically! I’m able to get them to show up to their shift on time with only 60% of the effort I had to use for our actual members!”
Members of organizations across campus are thrilled with the new method. “I just joined a sorority to get drunk and meet frat guys,” said Kathryn Calhoun, a sophomore member of Zeta Tau Alpha. “I couldn’t care less about promoting awareness for some charity. I only sign up for shifts because I don’t want my parents to get fined, and I want to be able to go to my formal.”
Some groups have gone as far as outsourcing the physical construction of the banners to foreign students as well. “We have a pretty good system going so far,” said Cory Mayer, a member of BCA. “We usually send the banners to the engineering students first so they can assemble the PVC pipes and tie the tablecloth to the supports. Then we have the Industrial Distribution students transport it to the Liberal Arts office, where their students compose the content and design the artwork. The finished product goes to the Communications majors, where they’re able to practice their English while promoting our event.”
The new system has caught on well, but with recent uncertainty surrounding access to foreign labor, many students foresee a decline in the foreign labor force at the university. Despite this, student leaders are not too worried— college students have a knack for finding the easy way out.