UMass Boston’s Student Arts and Events Council recently won an award for their work designing this year’s Welcome Week materials at a National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Northeast graphics competition.
In winning the “Best Theme Campaign” award for last fall’s “UMass Boston: Your Social Network,” students beat out several larger Northeast colleges and universities that entered the category.
Many universities hire professionals to help students carry out their design ideas. At UMass Boston the SAEC’s student program coordinators — Izzy Pulido, Kimberly Wallace, and Katie Kaiser — produce their own promotional materials.
Students received the award at the NACA regional conference in November.
“We were completely taken off-guard by the win,” says Pulido, a senior anthropology major. “It is a testament of our hard work, and of the incredible people who run our office, Shelby Harris and Charles Henriques, who encourage us to test our limits and respect our creative choices. … It is empowering giving the students that kind of autonomy.”
At the beginning of every semester, the SAEC hosts a Welcome Week, a series of events, contests, and giveaways meant to get students excited about the school year and boost involvement in student groups and activities. The SAEC decided to focus Welcome Week around social media and technology with the theme of “UMass Boston: Your Social Network.”
They handed out T-shirts with the phrase, “I [like] UMass Boston,” utilizing the iconic Facebook “Like” thumbs-up sign. Posters were designed with a computer background and brochures resembled Internet browsers with different social media themes on each page. They held contests like “Find the Twitter birds,” which were little blue birds hidden around campus that could be redeemed for movie tickets.
“The role of social media in many students’ college experiences made the theme very relevant and appealing,” Pulido says.
The SAEC plans to enter the NACA competition again.
“Experience is truly the key to success in this field,” Pulido says. “I am so appreciative to have access to expensive graphic design programs that I otherwise would not have the opportunity to use if it was not provided by my office. … It is so rewarding to create something from your own hands, your own ideas. I feel more self-assured at my abilities because I’m learning something new every single time I’m assigned a project."