Getting Familiar with the SAC

Cishella Durling: Hi everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Student Affairs Podcast series. My name is Cishella Durling, and I'm going to be your host today. I am very much looking forward to this interview with the Director of the Swain Student Activity Center and Special Programs, Britney Wildman. Brittany, thank you so much for your time today. I know it's a super busy time of year as finals are closing up and the semester is winding down, so I really appreciate your time. We're just going to go ahead and dive right into this interview. So, the first question that I have for you regarding the SAC.: What is the process for students when requesting to utilize spaces within the Student Activities Center or the surrounding outdoor spaces?

Brittany Wildman: Sure! First thank you so much for having me. Like you said, my name's Brittany Wildman. I've been here at UofL for about a year, I think almost a year and a half now; but I have been doing student centers since I was an undergraduate. I started working in a student center as a sophomore in college, and I fell in love with it a long time ago. I'm really excited to be here and talk about everything that the SAC has to offer. In regard to using spaces, the SAC, our SAC team, reserves all the spaces inside the SAC and outside, all the outdoor spaces. In regard to reserving the spaces, the best way for students to do that is through our 25Live system, and students can get on 25Live and click around. It can be a little un-user friendly, so we also encourage people to send emails to our SAC account or just stop by and see us. Any of our staff are happy to answer any questions that you have. We also walk the spaces with students and staff and faculty regularly. So, we are glad to show people spaces. It's hard when you're sitting behind a computer to imagine what it might look like, so we encourage all questions. Any and every question, we encourage to come through our office if students want to use the space to its maximum potential.

Cishella Durling: That's wonderful. I'm glad that there's multiple modalities for students to request that, especially when considering accessibility. So next is, when students utilize the spaces, what would you say are some of the most important rules or, you know, procedures for them to keep in mind while they're utilizing the facility?

Brittany Wildman: Yeah. So that's a great question. I think the big one for me is really communicating exactly what you want from your event and what you hope to provide to the attendees of your event. What is the mission? What does the integrity? what do you hope your attendees gain from that? I tell our staff if it's two people or if it's 2000 people, it's the most important thing that they, the people using the building, did that day. So, we need to treat every event just that way. It is the most important thing that they did. In reverse, if you're utilizing the SAC, be really clear in the communication with what you and your group hope to obtain from the event, and we will absolutely make that happen. My hope is that every student is excited to be here and excited to come back next time. So, I think really communication is the big one on that for me. My staff and I kind of joke, I'm a little bit the ‘fun police’, but that's OK because we do not allow glitter, no tape, no paint, just the general kind of rules. A lot of that is because we hope that this building can maintain for years and years to come, so by limiting a little bit of the things like the glitter and tape, it will prolong the life of the SAC because then it doesn't get damaged as quickly.

But I think the those are probably the two big ones for me. The other thing, the other two things I have are partnering with Aramark and being really clear about what you need in regard to food for your event. Aramark is the sole caterer here in the SAC. So, we work really closely with them to make sure that students have accessibility to the food that they want for their events. But that kind of goes back to that communication, right? So, Aramark also is partnering with us. Recently, they added some lower price menu and they're expanding their in-kind funds that they provide to students. So, Aramark also is working with us to provide those spaces to students. So, I think just continuing that communication, that's the big one. The last one I have is just a reminder that tabling, we do reserve tables. So just don't set up in table anywhere. Try to reserve that through the system or through talking with our staff.

Cishella Durling: Those are all just wonderful reminders, and I totally understand that glitter rule, like glitter's impossible to get out of carpet or, like, really anything. I would encourage all my listeners who utilize the SAC to be very mindful of those rules, especially considering that we want to keep the SAC pristine for as long as we can. So, what would you say are some important safety factors to be mindful of when participating at any event or activity being held within the SAC?

Brittany Wildman: So we also do a lot of risk management type discussions in the SAC. We try to enforce rules so that students are safe, but also that they have a great time here. We want every event that students have to reach its highest potential. So, the big ones I have are knowing where your exits are. If that's inside a room and that's exterior exits, understand where your exits are. Pay attention to not blocking fire lanes. Those are big ones. If you move a table over, it might look better there, but are you blocking the door and thinking through what that looks like in regard to fire lanes?

And then also paying attention to occupancy and spaces. Uh, just making sure that there aren't too many people in the space because we want to make sure that if something did happen, we could quickly and efficiently evacuate every person in the space. Those are the big ones for me, especially when it comes to a large building or a large event when there was a few 100 people or so. When it comes to smaller events, I would still maintain just ensuring that you know where your exits are and that they're not blocked in any way, and also that you have communicated clearly with the event manager that's working with you on your event and that you understand what our normal policies are.

Cishella Durling: Definitely alright. Safety is absolutely important. I know that everybody who works within the SAC definitely wants to see everybody who comes in leave with all of their fingers, all of their toes, and everything in between. So, super great to be mindful that there are safety protocols and procedures that do need to be abided by. Well, alright everybody, we're going to go ahead and wrap this up with: Did you know if you ever lose an item at the Student Activity center, you can see if it has been found by filling out the lost and found form on their website Alright everybody, see you next time.


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