Meredith Jarchow – [email protected]
Get FiRED Up.
This past Friday, March 31, Professor Dana Drazenovich’s Advanced Media Writing class along with the Office of Marketing and Communications (OMC) launched the FiRED Up Friday campaign, which is an effort to build unity among all Bennies and Johnnies, as well as staff , faculty, alumnae/i and monastics by wearing red apparel on Fridays.
“The idea for a community campaign was born from a bookstore advisory committee meeting made up of faculty, staff and students from both campuses, where the group discussed ways to engage our communities in showing their school pride and community spirit by intentionally wearing school-themed clothing,” Tammy Moore, Director of the OMC, said via email.
Before the spring semester began, Moore presented the idea to Drazenovich as a potential class project. From there, the class took complete control of brainstorming, craft – ing strategies and draft ing the messages for the campaign. Drazenovich is impressed with the work the students have done on the project thus far.
“[The students] basically built this whole thing from a single idea. What we’re doing now is kind of slowly introducing it,” Drazenovich said. “We just hope to continue to build it until the end of the semester, and then in the fall we will have a really big launch.”
The creation of the campaign was student driven, as well as the soft launch that took place this past Friday. CSB senior and student in Drazenovich’s class, Elizabeth Schneider mentioned how benefi cial the student aspect of the campaign was.
“I think it worked having students promoting it,” Schneider said. “It increases the student awareness because you have your peers telling you about it and getting excited about it as opposed to a mass email to the school from an institution official or administrator because it doesn’t have that personable note to it.”
Drazenovich commented on how this campaign is also an opportunity for students to put their professional skills to use and give back to CSB/SJU.
“I think that this project is a good example of how cooperative our community can be,” Drazenovich said. “The fact that Moore came to me and then we put together this task force, but they basically provided some input, and then let the students take over. I think that that is a really great way for students to learn, and at the same time give back to the community.”
Those involved in the campaign say that one of the most important aspects of it is the accessibility of participation to everyone.
“We want everyone to feel like they are part of this. We really want this to be something that anyone can do,” Drazenovich said. “It’s just about that common color, our red color, so it’s hopefully accessible to everyone and we want it to be inviting to everyone and we really invite everyone to take pictures of themselves and post with #csbsjufiREDup.”
The campaign promotes inclusivity and community on the CSB/SJU campuses, which Schneider argues has been lacking recently.
“Our ultimate goal is to increase inclusivity on campus in light of recent events,” Schneider said. “We feel there has been a lot of tension on campus in terms of that sense of community. We pride ourselves on this sense of a close-knit community between the two campuses and even the St. Joe and Collegeville communities. We saw this as an opportunity to really maintain that and to provide a way that all sorts of individuals can be included.”
The plan is to have an official launch in the fall of 2017 for incoming students and alumnae/i. The campaign will also have a student employee within the OMC to help manage the campaign, according to Moore.
SJU junior and student in Drazenovich’s class John Oliver is one of the few juniors in the course and hopes to move the campaign forward next year.
“It’s the students, it’s us, it’s our community. So many traditions at our school have been started through students, so I feel like this is our modern-day tradition that we can really get started,” Oliver said.
While not all students were aware of the soft launch, Oliver is optimistic about the future of the campaign and participation.
“I’m so excited to continue on with the campaign and everything else we have planned for the student body, and I can’t wait until we get everyone into it and participating.”
Feature photo: GEORGE DORNBACH • [email protected]