Dominic Lopinto essay

 

 

As a part of the Residence Hall Federation (RHF) at Virginia Tech, I ran a raffle, drawing thousands of students out of their halls to become engaged with each other while building friendships.  The raffle consisted of a shirt, a water bottle, and umbrella, all Virginia Tech themed.  The goal of the raffle was to be used in advertising and as a fun start of the year gift to bring students out of the comfort of their rooms, into a large social environment where they could connect and form new friendships.  Since submission to the raffle was free, all they had to do was show up, and they did!  Everyone knows the number 1 draw for college students is free stuff.

After just a few days of advertising, much of the campus was talking about the event and the free stuff you could get by going.  The name of our organization was being passed around with all this as well, publicizing for when we would later start recruitment.

The raffle drawing for the students costed a mere $50 and resulted even better than we could have imagined.  It stirred up excitement, advertised for our cause, pleased those involved, and most of all, enabled the creation of a much tighter knit community of students.  Since this occurred before the first week of classes, many new friendships were formed that may very well last a lifetime.  In addition to the friendships, the new students could feel a sense of belonging to something grander when they look around and see thousands of others in the same place as them with the same purpose.

While the event was so powerful, none of that could have occurred if there was no raffle.  The students were the essential aspect of the event; the purpose was to create relations between them after all.  If the students had not been drawn to the event, the impact it had surely would have been minimized.   If the perceived “hype” around the event had not been present, the students would not have come, and if the raffle had not been taking place, the “hype” never would have been built.  Thus, the impact of this event can be tied back to a single implementation of a raffle.

Finally, the students were not the only ones enriched by this experience.  I gained insight into building excitement around an event.  I was able to personally interact with and change the life of multiple students, being one of those in charge of the event, and I was able to communicate the effect of my organization to others, building interest for the future.  While this third part does not seem too significant this opens the gate to later develop their leadership, professionalism, and even quality of life as we make an effort to do for all students who are part of RHF.  The Residence Hall Federation is the largest student run organization on campus, and it is because of events like this that we can remain this way.  It all comes back to a basket of swag and a single raffle ticket

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