Students gain event-planning experience though fall festival


Corryn Brock

Veronica Holt, a junior business major, and Michaela Wagner, a senior hospitality major, serve food to a student for a fall festival. Both women are in the class that planned and coordinated the festival.

Corryn Brock, Associate News Editor

Eastern students painted gourds and played lawn games with free food and music, thanks to the students of the CMN 3950-Conferences and Event Planning class.

Dan Crews, director of Programming, Publicity and Promotion, gave his CMN 3950 students a choice: Sit in a lecture, or get real life planning experience, and students chose to plan a fall festival.

“I’m real proud of the students because they all kicked in, they all had responsibilities, and basically everything you see was coordinated by the students,” Crews said. “They got to see that kind of aspect of what it means and what it takes to put an event together.”

Cheyenne Lohman and Corey Kilmartin, students in the class, said they felt putting on the festival gave them experience that would help them with their careers after graduation.

Lohman and Kilmartin said they also thought the day was beneficial for students because it gave them something to do in between classes besides going home.

“We decided that after midterms the students would really enjoy free food and a fun environment,” Lohman said. “We went through all of the steps to put this event together from getting the food, talking to the (Eastern President David Glassman) to get permission (for the festival) and then setting it up and tearing it down.”

Kilmartin said choosing to hold the event Wednesday was a good idea because it was during Homecoming week and it would give students the opportunity to come together.

One student in the class, senior mass communications major Precious Williams, watched over the gourd-painting table. She also took part in planning the event. She said she felt planning the event was a nice break from the typical class lectures.

“It’s helping us implement the things that we’re learning,” Williams said. “It’s actual hands-on experience that we can gain for the real world.”

Carmen Emanuel, a senior mass communications major, said the main purpose of the event was to get people out and doing something on campus, and that she hoped it did that.

“We wanted to put something together that faculty, staff and students can combine together to interact with each other,” Emanuel said.

Emanuel said the event also celebrated fall.

Crews said the students learned more about what it takes to put an event together from the festival.

“If you’re going to go into event planning it’s not just planning the event, but the hurdles you have to get over and the challenges you’ve got to overcome,” Crews said. “They’ve experienced that … That was something good and exciting to see.”

Crews said it was nice to see students putting thought into their ideas and what would and wouldn’t work for the event.

Crews also said he enjoyed seeing students, faculty and staff get involved with the event.

“This is something for them,” Crews said. “I think some of the students just really appreciate having some kind of activity (to get involved with).”

Crews said in the future he hopes to continue doing something similar to the event in the years to come.

“This is the first time my class has ever done something like this,” Crews said. “I think it’s something we should build upon every year, and maybe it’ll get bigger.”

Several students came to the event and participated in the different activities offered.

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].