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Published: Monday, 8/24/2009

Owens aims to get students more active


A "bus tour" has been set up at Owens Community College to get students more involved on campus.

It's not an actual bus to drive students from event to event, but a program modeled after a successful one at Lourdes College called the passport program.

At the annual "Fall Fest 2 Success" event tomorrow at Owens, students will get their fall semester "bus schedule" that lists events such as lectures, theater performances, and more this fall.

"It gives them the opportunity to experience a lot of different things," said John Byers, manager of student activities at Owens.

And by attending those events, which are designated as part of the bus tour with a stop sign displayed at the event, students get stamps that are, of course, a bus.

A preprinted schedule lists 29 events, and those requiring a student to buy a ticket are marked with a yield sign.

There are schedules for both the Perrysburg Township and Findlay campuses, with some that overlap so that students can experience both locations, Mr. Byers said.

Prizes such as T-shirts, an iPod, a flat-screen television, and free credit hours are awarded at the end-of-semester celebration based on the number of stamps received.

"With the community college, it's harder than four-year colleges to get people to come to events," Mr. Byers said. "With this, you can see three months ahead this is coming up and you can plan for it. There won't be as much, 'Oh, shoot, I would have gone to that.'"

Lourdes started its program during the 2007-08 school year and has seen participation in its programs increase every semester.

Lisa Binkowski, Lourdes' director of student activities and recreation, helped Owens get its program going, Mr. Byers said.

"The students so far we've showed it to are real excited about it," he said.

The program will be announced at tomorrow's Fall Fest 2 Success event, which will feature food, activities, and games as well as information booths on student services and student organizations. There will be a mechanical bull, a jousting contest, football and basketball challenges, and an obstacle course.

The back-to-school event and the bus tour program are part of the college's efforts to increase the student life aspect of campus.

"It makes a great connection for getting to know more friends, some networking for later in life," Mr. Byers said. "People who have been involved really prosper."

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