By Sydarra Coat
Last Wednesday, April 28th, the Blackwood Campus of the Camden County College held its annual Spring Fling festival. The celebration began around noon and included free lunch, an appearance by CCC’s own radio station personnel, and even a live band to add to its Woodstock esque theme.
When asked what she thought about this years Spring Fling, Stephanie Okoye, Human Resources major, blatantly stated, “Last year was better. This year it just seemed like it was put together at the last minute.”
Criminal Justice major Tasha Smith backed Okoye, stating, “I don’t think they put too much effort into [the Spring Fling]…did they even spend any money on this?” Then Okoye and Smith jokingly bantered about how they believe that CCC staff “…probably literally threw everything together this morning.”
Both Okoye and Smiths’ statement poses a question. How much preparation really went into the Spring Fling?
Jackie Tenuto, the Assistant to the Dean of Students knows all too well how much groundwork it takes to prepare the Spring Fling. A Camden County College alumna, Tenuto has successfully planned and put together the last five Spring Flings.
Along with the Student Government Association (SGA), CCC’s FM radio station, and a representative of every CCC Club, Tenuto incorporated the help of many to put together this years celebration, as it was also a Job fair with 25 different employers, including Applebee’s, United Parcel Service (UPS), and the local Police Department.
Contrary to the belief of some students, the actual preparatory work began in January. Tenuto stated that she had actually planned the date back in the summer of 2009. Little did she know April 28th would be one of the colder days of spring.
After the date was set, the very next step was to plan the entertainment. For this task, Tenuto appointed Jamie Myerson to take charge. Myerson, the WDBK 91.5FM radio station manager recruited local bands to perform live. This year’s live entertainment was courtesy of current CCC students, who played hard-rock, and even did a cover of the late Michael Jackson’s hit song, Beat It.
Although the entertainment had been booked, it was important to provide the students with some alternative choices. Tenuto stated that she “tries to provide the students with options, so that way, if they don’t like the music, they can see what each of the clubs has to offer…”
Every Camden County Club of the Blackwood Campus participated in the Spring Fling. Almost every club had there own table in which they handed out pamphlets, free candy, free t- shirts, giveaways and more. As stated before, as part of the job fair, there were representatives of the Cherry Hill Applebee’s, looking to hire, no experience necessary.
Adjacent to there table was an officer of Police Department, who was also looking to recruit. Tasha Smith (a Criminal Justice Major), once unenthused by the fling, now seemed to have a slight change of heart as she and the officer had a diligent conversation about her future in the field of justice.
Lastly, but certainly not least, with all the participates in the Spring Fling, it was only right that Tenuto top it all off with free lunch. For that, she enlisted the help of Sodexo Food Services, who served hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, cookies, and beverages
To recap, the Spring Fling included live entertainment, free food, a job fair, and not to mention, a moon bounce. Exactly how much did all of this cost? Tenuto estimates that the food alone cost about $10,000. The question is, who paid for it?
The answer: You, the student!
When students filled out the FAFSA or took out loans, or for some, even paid out pocket, part of the tuition was a $25.00 “Activity Fee.” That fee provides the funding for which Jackie Tenuto uses to pay for all of our activities. Because Sodexo is its’ own company, they do charge approximately $8.00/person, and they serve an estimated 1,280 plates. At 8 dollars per plate, Tenuto was absolutely correct in saying that the food alone was about $10,000. Actually, Sodexo earned approximately $10,240.00.
Take into account that the all the participants in the Spring Fling were Camden County College Students, so for each of the 1,280 people there was a $25.00 fee, which means that the funding pool for all of the activities throughout the course of the year was greater than $32,000.
In the beginning parts of the article, we introduced Tasha Smith, who posed a question, “…did they even spend any money on this?” Hypothetically speaking, “they” being the Camden County College staff, didn’t spend anything. However, you, the student, did.
Tenuto has been the fighting force behind the Spring Fling for the last five years, and understands that the benefit of a community college is that a student can come to class, and then “get back to their lives,” and consequently how difficult it is to get students to actually want to stay and participate. “ I don’t want them to miss out on their student life,” says Tenuto, “I want them to enjoy being here.”
For any students interested in taking part in any event that you, the students pay for, Jackie Tenuto will take anyone willing to volunteer their time. Her office is located directly behind the Cougar Café, in the Student Life office. You can also reach her at 856-227- 7200 ext 5088, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.