Roger Williams University’s Campus Entertainment Network (CEN) placed in the top three for the category of Best Campus Tradition last week at the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) National Convention, which was held in Baltimore, Maryland from Feb. 18-22.
This four day event provides networking opportunities with other campus activities professionals, students, and the entertainment community. Approximately 7,000 people from hundreds of colleges and universities from all over the United states attend the Convention each year, making NACA’s National Convention the nation’s largest campus activities marketplace.
In order to be eligible to win the award, CEN had to submit a video describing their campus tradition as well as the reasons for its success. Last November, CEN won the Excellence in Programming award at NACA Northeast Regionals in Hartford, Connecticut, and after this victory, members of the organization felt motivated to apply for national recognition.
“We have never applied to win an award at NACA Nationals before,” said junior and CEN Co-Chair Erin Elliott. “However, coming off of the win at Regionals, we decided that we should apply. The Film Production Collaborative created the video, and then we sent it in with the application.”
About a month later, CEN received an email notifying them of their nomination for the top three award.
“When I first got the email, I thought it was a joke. We had never applied before, and the first time we did we made top three,” Elliot said, adding “We put in so much work and it means so much to get the recognition we deserve.”
The program that CEN nominated for the Best Campus Tradition award was Midnight Madness, which is an annual pep-rally tradition that involves nearly every person part of the RWU community, including alumni, parents, dancers, athletes, students, coaches, and faculty.
“What was most amazing was when we got to the conference,” said senior Ian Fullerton, Co-Chair of CEN. “The NACA panel picked the top three contenders, but from there, it was students attending the NACA Convention that voted for the winner. So, when we arrived at the conference, students from other schools were coming up to us and saying ‘Oh! You’re from Roger Williams? I saw your video and loved your tradition!’ Having your campus known at a national level is an incredible feeling.”
“This has been my first semester working with CEN, and I am amazed at how hardworking these people are and how much goes into each and every program they run,” said sophomore Greer Storey, a newcomer to CEN. “We don’t always get recognized for what we do, so to receive national recognition is amazing.”
As award winners, Roger Williams University’s CEN chapter will receive pre-registration to the 2018 conference and will be asked to write an article about their tradition for the Campus Activities Programming Magazine, an internationally recognized magazine for colleges and universities around the world.
CEN would like to thank those who helped to make their success possible: The Film Production Collaborative, Student Senate, Student Programs and Leadership, and everyone who supports the events that they put on.