The Department of Student Affairs is developing a new program called EPIC. The Engaged Participation and Involvement in College program is made for students to become involved in student activities happening on campus. The program is set to premier during the first week of school, just in time for Weeks of Welcome.

Students will attend events and gain points for checking in online or on the app. The points will be considered as tickets, which will be entered into a prize drawing. In addition to checking in, students will have the ability to review the event and give their opinion on what they thought about it or how it helped them learn something new. A check- in will count for one point, whereas a review counts for five points. For every five points a student earns, he or she gets one entry into the drawing.

One of the goals of the program is to create a community incentive by sending messages to a direct group, specifically those involved on campus.

An example of a such a message would be: “EPIC members get 50%-off Icees today.”

As students check in to events, they will be asked a series of questions that take no longer than a minute and a half. One of the key questions that will be asked is why the student was drawn to the event.

Director of Student Engagement Lacey Folsom explained how the event will benefit campus and students.

“We’re trying to find how events connect students to SFA. When we say we want to create a sense of community, because students put their student ID number [at check-in], we are able to send them information about other events, like ‘You attended this event, you may be interested in this upcoming event’ so we are able to personalize their college experience, which is one of the missions of SFA,” Folsom said.

The ultimate goal of the program is to show students that by attending events, their college experience can be enhanced.

“We very much believe that getting involved is not necessarily having your name on a roster. So, to be engaged on the SFA campus is not necessarily about joining an organization. While there are so many to join and so many programs you can interact with through your academics, it’s about engaging with campus.

“When you’re coming to college as a first-year student, one of the most important things is to embrace everything the university has to offer,” Folsom said.

Folsom explained that statistically, students who are involved not only graduate at faster and higher rates, they also become active alumni.

Dr. Adam Peck, interim vice president for university affairs, said the program has been in the works since April.

“The idea was to encourage students to come to events. It is part of our overall strategy to create the best student experience out students can have. We think that the prizes will create a lot of excitement and buzz. I think students are going to be blown away by this program.”

One of the benefits students will receive is personalized benefits that other students won’t know about.

“You might get a special meet and greet, a discount on your coffee or a larger prize. At the end, everyone will have a chance to win the big prize. You’ll be able to choose your prize. It could be a trip to anywhere in the continental U.S. with spending money, it could be a scholarship or a variety of other great prizes,” Peck said.

Raquel Torres began working at The Pine Log her sophomore year at Stephen F. Austin State University. During her time at The Pine Log, Raquel has served in positions including Contributing Writer, Staff Writer, Social Media Editor, Web and Content Editor.

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