When you walk through campus and a student organization is passing out free food, it’s fair to say that you are going to stop and take advantage of this opportunity. No person in their right mind would deny free food after all. The question is, do you remember who was handing out the goodies?
While this advertising scheme is an easy way to gain student attention on a club day or other school event, the focus seems to be based on the food and not really on the activities.
Typically, giving out free food isn’t directly correlated to a school organization. It may seem that it would be a piece of cake to sell your club to a student when you are offering them free food. But many times when a student is rushing through campus in between classes, the last thing they want to do is be hawked by people trying to get them on board with whatever it may be.
Just because there is free food, doesn’t mean students attention is on exactly what you want. When food is involved, that is most likely going to be the only thing on anyone’s mind.
There are specific instances where food is warranted for the event. Last semester’s Fashion A-Wear-ness Day had vendors on campus and groups from the campus culinary programs which brought attention to those programs.
The final Club Rush of the fall semester also featured food from the various cultural clubs, bringing awareness to the styles of cooking and types of food prevalent in each culture. However, when students are walking from booth to booth just picking up the freebies, the message falls on deaf ears and hungry stomachs.
Of course, the success of every event is not directly related to the free food, but it’s amazing how popular the trend has become to give out free food in order to attract attention. It’s not uncommon to see flyers pasted on the walls or littered across the ground at school, and the only words that ever seem to jump out are “FREE FOOD” in big bold letters. It’s never a matter of who is giving out the grub, just the fact it’s happening will entice you.
It seems it would make more sense for the club or organization to give out something more relevant to their direct cause. Of course it’s important to get the message of your club or organization out to students, but food can’t be the only way. True, there is a general lack of school spirit on the community college level, but food won’t make students more active.
Until students make the decision to take a proactive role in their college, not even free food will make your mission well-received.
This is a plea to students – don’t just dine and dash! Think about doing something productive for your school and your community. The clubs on campus are designed to appeal to the broad interests of students. Special events are designed to make school more than just books and classes.
Take an interest in more than just the food. Not only will it help out your college applications and make you a more rounded student, it will also show employers that you are active and take pride in what you believe in, whether it’s maintaining your grades, raising environmental awareness, or playing ultimate frisbee. Next time you decide to grab a free bite, make sure you’re courteous enough to find out about the mission behind the food.