Peeling back the SCAB

For a Cedarville student, many hilarious puns, such as “pick us; we’ll bleed for you,” are associated with SCAB, the Student Center Activity Board. This organization is a driving force behind most of Cedarville’s on-campus fun, and with the leadership and organization from this group, it’s no wonder students enjoy the events SCAB hosts throughout the school year.

SCAB is a division of Student Life Ministries focused on planning and running fun, safe events for students. It is comprised of three groups: events, which plans the events; info, which manages the information desk and takes calls for the university; and ops, which does the behind-the-scenes work, including lighting and sound setup for each event. These three groups collaborate on every event.

Amanda Gabel, a senior, is a third-year SCAB member. Photo: Malia Rickards

Amanda Gabel, a senior, is a third-year SCAB member. Photo: Malia Rickards

Amanda Gabel, a senior student and manager of this year’s events group, has been involved with SCAB for three years. Starting as a sophomore with the info desk group, she now works with her team of six to plan, organize and run events. Gabel recently planned ALT 2: “Maleficent” and is planning this year’s Campus Christmas.

Throughout the year, SCAB puts on numerous events to give students opportunities to get involved and enjoy themselves on campus. Its major events are ALT nights, Campus Christmas, Thursday Night Live, the New Student Kickoff Party and Winter Blast. It also runs the opening nights of Cedarville’s plays and does smaller events around March Madness and the Super Bowl.

SCAB’s goal extends beyond putting on events for the campus; another primary goal of this organization is to grow its members’ leadership skills.

Brian Burns, director of Student Life Programs and SCAB adviser, said SCAB seeks to develop life-long leaders by providing them with opportunities to love and serve others while pursing excellence in their work.

Brian Burns, adviser for SCAB, said he motivates his team to be creative in planning events. Photo: Malia Rickards

Brian Burns, adviser for SCAB, said he motivates his team to be creative in planning events. Photo: Malia Rickards

Excellence in effort, one of Cedarville’s core values, is the aim of SCAB members as well as they serve the student body, Burns said. SCAB also seeks to develop and protect a distinctly Christ-centered campus climate.

“We provide exceptional and Christ-centered programs, services and opportunities,” Burns said. “We don’t just want to plan; we want you all as a student body to have opportunities to be involved in what we do.”

As the primary event-planning organization on campus, SCAB leaders must make decisions about what events they will plan. Burns said they make it a priority to listen to what the students want and always try to make their events new and better.

As the adviser, Burns has the final say on which events are a go, but he said he leaves the majority of the work for the team members.

When organizing an event, the events’ team leaders are required to have a purpose, procedure and plan. Burns said he often asks the question, “What if…?” to motivate his team members to explore more options or ideas.

Burns said, “I tell my staff all the time, ‘We need to be creative.’ And they say, ‘Why?’ Because we serve a creative God.”

The set-up and clean-up that accompanies these events takes work. For this year’s “Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier” ALT night, the SCAB team began setting up four to five hours beforehand and spent at least two hours cleaning up.

Burns said all the leaders should be there for the setup and the tear down. He strives to leave the building better than they found it so the maintenance crew will not have any extra work, and he said he views this as an act of worship and a way to serve his fellow staff members.

Tim Powers, a junior, joined SCAB his freshman year. Photo: Malia Rickards

Tim Powers, a junior, joined SCAB his freshman year. Photo: Malia Rickards

Tim Powers is a junior broadcasting and digital media major and serves on SCAB’s events team. He became involved with SCAB the spring semester of his freshman year after attending the “Wreck-it-Ralph” ALT. Powers said he was impressed that even during a time of change for the university, the students could still come together and enjoy themselves at a fun event. He brings experience to this year’s new events team and said he enjoys the energy of working together with a team.

Each week, every team member is required to give one hour of their time for a team meeting and one hour in the office. Each position takes a minimum of two hours per week, not including the time spent to run events. However, Powers said he sees commitment to SCAB as more of an energy commitment than a time commitment.

“You need a lot of energy, a lot of action, to be adding something to an event or setting up an event,” Powers said.

Gabel and Powers both agreed that Campus Christmas is a common favorite. The overnight transformation of the SSC from an ordinary building to a winter wonderland is a long but rewarding process for SCAB members.

Powers also said he enjoys the laid back atmosphere of the opening nights of plays. Gabel said her favorite memory is Campus Christmas 2013 when Denver and the Mile High Orchestra came to Cedarville.

“I personally love the chaos,” Gabel said. “It’s organized chaos, but I just love event nights and getting things done and seeing the students.”

ALT nights were created, Burns said, with the design to be different by saving money and still providing entertainment and fun activities on campus. Burns said the philosophy behind ALT nights is that if students can save that money they would usually spend on a night out, they can give that money to bless others by giving it to their church, a ministry or a missionary.

SCAB spends about $9 per student for all the events in the year: this means that a student can enjoy four ALT nights, Campus Christmas, 25 Thursday Night Lives, opening nights to plays and a host of other small events at a total cost of $9 for the school.

Burns said he also gives the leaders a budget for each year and requires them to finish under the budget. In these ways, SCAB teaches leaders to spend less than they have, give to others and steward God’s blessings wisely. And he said the heartbeat of SCAB is the students who come and participate in these events.

Powers encourages students to get involved with SCAB as well.

“If SCAB is something that looks enjoyable to you, don’t be intimidated,” Powers said. “You never know what the Lord has for you.”

Kjersti Fry is a freshman pharmacy major and reporter for Cedars. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and she enjoys playing the piano, playing ultimate frisbee, and spending time with friends and family.

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