Standing before the director of their residence hall and the dean of their college, a team of first-year students presented a plan to rebrand and improve the Communication and Society Residential Academic Program. It was the culmination of a semester of work by the students in the Introduction to Brand Strategy class.
The CommRAP program is housed in Buckingham Hall and allows residents to take classes in their dorm centered around communication, media and information. Introduction to Brand Strategy is one of the classes hosted in CommRAP, giving students the opportunity to use their own experiences in the residential academic program as the material for a new branding campaign.
“We believe CommRAP can make the biggest contribution to participants and to CMCI by developing resident skills in unconventional thinking, maintaining a collaborative community, supporting students’ failures and being brave enough to take risks,” the team of students explained in their executive summary. Specifically, they proposed that CommRAP adopt a student-based approach to social media, install a computer lab equipped with design software and redesign its website.
They also wanted to see even further involvement from CMCI. “I think we all really want to see them more involved in what we’re doing, I guess kind of bring up the the energy, bring up the enthusiasm to really make it a collaborative environment,” said Ashley Hopko, a student on the team.
By working together to create the rebranding plan and presentation, the team gained a unique hands-on advertising experience with real-world results. As team member Jennifer Lynn Keller put, “this kind of go out and do it attitude that we got to do in the RAP class—like go out and actually visit an agency—really, really coincides with the design thinking that all of us are really interested in.”
CommRAP has already secured a $500 grant towards installing computers in one of the Buckingham Hall lounges and the students are optimistic that the changes they’ve proposed will be implemented. “It’s been crazy to see that just small steps we’ve already taken have paid off in big ways,” said project member Marshall McKinley.