Jamrich still lacking posting areas

Emma Finkbeiner

Jamrich Hall has become one of the most populated buildings on campus, however, this high-traffic area is lacking a major vehicle for communication about campus events: posting areas.

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In nearly every building on campus, bulletin boards and Center for Student Enrichment (CSE) approved posting areas can be found. With over 300 student organizations on NMU’s campus, these posting areas are constantly filled with posters announcing events sponsored by a variety of student and university groups.

Director of the Center for Student Enrichment Rachel Harris, has been working with Associate Director for Engineering and Planning Jim Thams to find areas for the bulletin boards in Jamrich.

“Jamrich is sort of serving as our student union right now,” Harris said. “That’s where everybody is, so that’s the main place you’re going to be able to communicate with the student body. It’s critical that we have posting areas so we’re able to communicate to students of all the opportunities they can take advantage of.”

Emily Quinn, a sophomore graphic communications major and the president of Primetime Productions, a student organization that brings small entertainment acts to campus, said she was anxious for the posting areas in Jamrich to be installed.

“By not having posting areas in Jamrich, we’re missing out on a huge opportunity to advertise,” Quinn said. “Most of the advertising for our events comes from posters and word-of-mouth.”

Primetime Productions frequently uses the Jamrich auditorium for their events and Quinn said not being able to post near the event space has been an issue.

Over the summer, Harris and two of her staff members joined Thams to do a walkthrough of the facility. They identified areas that would be ideal to have CSE posting areas. Harris said the office had to wait to find out where the rebranding materials were going to be hung before they could determine final locations for the bulletin boards.

“All of the stuff they hung is really lovely and nice but we couldn’t really compete with that with our bulletin boards,” Harris said. “After those were hung, we were anxious to say, ‘Let’s get those bulletin boards up.’”

The CSE was offered digital displays by Thams as an alternative to traditional posting areas. Thams said he had hoped to use the digital displays in Jamrich to save on printing costs and decrease waste material, as well as to fit in with the overall modern appearance of the new building.

“I was hoping to rely more on the digital displays rather than the physical displays because over time they get crowded,” Thams said.

The digital display idea was brought to a CSE staff meeting by Harris and although they identified pros to this option, such as saving paper and the ability for student groups with less funding to post, they ultimately decided they favored the traditional posting areas.

Quinn said she also preferred the traditional bulletin board option over the digital displays.

“The timing has to be right with a scrolling digital display so we could still be missing out on an opportunity to advertise to the right people,” Quinn said.

Originally, Harris said she had thought the brightly lit stairwells of the building would be prime real estate for the bulletin boards. However, according to the Life Safety Code, nothing flammable  can be placed in the stairwells in case of emergencies.

Thams said although bulletin boards used to be found in the stairwells of the old Jamrich building, which was built in 1969, new safety codes prohibit this placement in the new facility. The new Jamrich Hall is up to date on all safety codes, Thams said, another of which regulates the amount of wall space that can be covered.

“By code you’re not allowed to cover more than 10 percent of the wall space with combustible material,” Thams said.

Thams said the process moving forward will be to collaborate with the purchasing department to order the bulletin boards, which will be  4 feet by 8 feet, and place them in the building. The proposed locations for the bulletin boards will be opposite the second and third floor stairwells at each end of the building as well as across from Starbucks and across from the seating area nearest to the library entrance on the first floor.

Harris said she is excited to see the posting areas get installed in the new facility.

“I would just love to see the bulletin boards in Jamrich,” Harris said. “I think that they would be full and people would be looking at them and I think it would help with attendance at different events.”