By Val Amiel Vestil
6 heads. In a span of 20 minutes, on a rather busy Wednesday, only 6 heads turned to look at the posters and information sheets posted on the bulletin board.
Boasting not much of a flattering number of heads, it’s ironic that the bulletin board found at the corner of one of the busiest centers in the campus— Ausejo Hall (or familiarly regarded to as the ‘AH’)—was snubbed. Place the bulletin board beside a huge glass mirror and you’ll notice that more heads turn to see the mirror, this is either to see if the wind had fornicated with their well-groomed hair or to double-check whether they still look human. But this article is not about self-preservation (which is not at all a bad thing). Rather, this talks about bulletin boards and the string of possibilities they offer to a Sillimanian like you.
Bulletin boards that are found to be equally distributed all over the campus contain too much of what the eyes can find attractive. Too much, this time, is a good thing! These could contain announcements on upcoming events, college activities, or student-organized competitions; these could also be a call for applications to a student exchange program, to the next writers’ workshop or simply to a love letter writing contest; and more often than not some of the posters invite and tease you to an upcoming acquaintance party in your college or in the campus. That’s basically why posters are one of the greatest treasures you should ever find time to look at, and that’s also enough reason for you to go check out bulletin boards more often.
For Prince Villa, “Wanted Usher” were the very words that made this sophomore student a Senior Usher for the Luce Auditorium Corps of Ushers and Usherettes (LACUU). He was strolling alone inside the campus when he took time to read the posts on the bulletin boards and got attracted to one of those from LACUU. And everything went uphill from then on. He attests that “bulletin boards are great sources of opportunities and can even be your personal ‘Campus Ambassador ’ throughout your whole college life. Bulletin Boards can take you places.” And truly, Mac has been taken to places thanks to bulletin boards and a whole lot of will.
Mac Florendo, a Mass Communication student hailing from Zamboanga City, recently spent a whole semester in South Korea, all-expense paid. You read that right. It was a trip to the library and a good stare at a poster on a bulletin board that eventually became the burgeoning of a trip to Korea. It was the phrase “exchange program” and “incoming third year” that, after fulfilling the requirements, allowed Florendo to become a student of Hannam University.
Raffy Cabristante, a Service Awardee of the university, recalls the first time he got involved in an extra-curricular activity all thanks to that bulletin board by the Scheide Chapel. It was a call for auditions to the play “New Yorker in Tondo” and after seeing the poster, he landed a supporting role in the play which got him to use his “rusty theater skills” again.
Not only did he meet new friends from the College of Performing and Visual Arts, he also realized through this that “life in the university isn’t all about attending classes and stuff.” After this brief experience, Raffy started to be involved in co-curricular activities which is far flung from his freshman self where he focused on nothing but academics.
Prince, Mac, and Raffy’s experiences are just drops in a bucket of all other success stories of Sillimanians who have found refuge in being highly attentive to posters and notices.
Silliman University Student Government President Rona Marie Namocatcat agrees that the attention given to bulletin boards around campus have dropped in the recent years due to the coming of “virtual” bulletin boards which are found on social networking sites. She says that students are not taking bulletin boards for granted but are rather “appreciating a different form of bulletin boards.” Namocatcat believes, however, that bulletin boards still play an extreme role in the proper dissemination of information because not everyone has access to these “virtual” info boards. She adds, “It is something so basic that we just cannot do without it.” We oftentimes stare at anything that pleases our senses, hence the longing of a different form of bulletin boards. However, the relationship between the passerby and the poster/bulletin board is a two-way process.
The passerby must take time to pause and give attention to these bulletin boards and at the same time posters in bulletin boards must be presented in a way that calls for good attention.
Sha’ianne Lawas, Fine Arts major and Editor-in-Chief of the Portal 2014, says all you need is a good balance of aesthetics and purpose. When making posters, Lawas says it’s all about “how one ‘markets’ an ‘identity’ or simply how one clearly sends a message to an audience wherein there is much need for a ‘WOW’ factor.” This Wow factor, according to Lawas, can be seen in “choosing colors that do not diminish any means of society’s norms and values” but at the same time creates emotions that catch attention.
The creator must never forget, Lawas mentions, that these posters are seen by masses who have different levels of visual, artistic, and practical comprehensions. But then again, what use is a beautiful and attention-worthy poster when one cannot just stop to stare and read? This is where the two-way process comes into the picture. It does not take even a pint of your time to check them out.
This is not for anyone else’s sake but yours alone.
According to Mrs. Sonia Sygaco, author of Tales from the Wordsmith and adviser of the Portal 2014, it is your responsibility to keep “abreast of the events in the University” and posters can help you in doing so.
Mac puts it, “As college students, your dreams and opportunities may have already been printed on a piece of paper posted on bulletin boards along your everyday hallways. Do not rush on those hallways; take time to read those announcements.”