When the LaRita Boren Campus Center gets overtaken by an event, students are often upset they can’t sit down and eat Chick-fil-A or Dashi in peace.
This was not the case Wednesday night, Oct. 23.
Instead, as 6 p.m. hit, a couple hundred students crammed into the campus center to be the first to see the items being sold at Shop the Loop, an event planned by the communication department’s event and venue planning class. Students in the class envisioned creating an event where student products and services could be showcased to others on campus; which is exactly what Shop the Loop did.
“This event was a brilliant idea that benefitted the students who planned it, the vendors and all participants. It was so successful that our PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of American) plans to continue it each year,” said Communication Department Co-chair Donna Downs.
Downs claims the rights to this event as it was a public relations class that planned Shop the Loop. She also confirmed that PRSSA will take it over as an event that is planned by students and catered to student vendors. She says the money raised each year will go toward a good cause.
Freshman Molly Jacobs, a Shop the Loop vendor and owner of Molly Pops, definitely felt the support of her fellow students as she sold 375 lollipops on Wednesday.
“The best thing about Shop the Loop was that it brought a lot of the school together,” Jacobs said. “I personally enjoyed it because I didn’t know about other student businesses on campus; it was really fun to talk to other students and make connections.”
Along with showing community support for student vendors, another goal of the event was to show and raise support for Bahamian students on campus. In early September when Hurricane Dorian severely damaged the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas, Taylor’s response was to create a Bahamian Relief Fund, designed to send aid down to a relief mission in the Bahamas.
The students of the event and venue planning course wanted to raise support that would directly bless their Bahamian brothers and sisters on campus. The Rev. Greg Dyson, special assistant to the president for intercultural initiatives, has walked alongside the student planners by helping to brainstorm initiatives that can be implemented with the over $500 raised by the event.
Between the huge turnout and the funds raised for the Bahamians, it is fair to say that Shop the Loop was a huge success. Students, staff, faculty and community members were all impressed with all the work put into this event.
“I thought the Shop the Loop event was great,” said Charity Bailey, assistant to the dean of the school of natural and applied sciences. “The idea to support the Bahamas was smart and the vendors were fantastic. The quality of the merchandise was comparable to high-end artisans. For me, it brought back great memories of some of my favorite craft shows.”
Stay tuned for the next Shop the Loop. It’s bound to be another smashing success!