[By Bernard Ow]
As most students of Taylor’s University probably saw, there was bouncy castle in the shape of Batman in the middle of amphitheatre last Tuesday, 21 April, 2015. A lot of students managed to get freebies for themselves, and some even had a great time reliving their childhood memories on the giant, inflated contraption one usually associates with kids.
Have you ever wondered, though, about what was the inspiration behind bringing the campaign to Taylor’s?
I had the opportunity to speak to Lum Kit May, Taylor’s University Student Council (TUSC) Campus Welfare Director 14/15, who is also the organizer of the Bounce Campaign, who shared her entire journey with me.
The idea stemmed from Lum’s cousin’s Instagram post on a similar bouncy castle the University of Melbourne, Australia had, during their Freshies Night. Being a bouncy castle lover herself, she was inspired to do something similar for every Taylorian.
Lum confidently proposed the bouncy castle idea to the Student Council during one of the brainstorming sessions for future events. The council members had mixed emotions for this strangely fresh idea. Although some were really excited and supportive, there questions about budgets and whether students would utilise it.
The journey was not a bed of roses. It took the council a lot of time to call up sponsors to get funds and freebies for this campaign. “Most of the sponsors took a long time to reply. We had to call them constantly for months to get all these freebies,” said Lum.
After securing a few sponsors, she thought the difficult part had passed, but the worst was yet to come. About a week before the Bounce Campaign 1.0, when other sponsors had already given their freebies and the marketing of the campaign was up and running, there were still no sponsors that were willing to chip in cash to rent the castle. After days of calling and e-mailing potential sponsors, the council managed to find a company called Youths Today, who was willing to sponsor RM1 for each student that attended the event. This was the break they needed to ensure the continuity of the campaign.
The Bounce Campaign 1.0, which was held in November 2014, benefited from around 1,200 students at TU Lakeside Campus. Due to the overwhelming response, they decided to bring it back again this year. This time, the council combined the Voice Campaign, an initiative to collect feedback from students regarding campus welfare issues, with the Bounce Campaign.
Combining two events, one that is fun-filled and the other that raises serious issues was indeed a challenge. Nonetheless, the TUSC managed to get feedback from more than 900 students of TU Lakeside Campus and everyone had a great time as well!
When Lum was asked to reflect on the journey of the Bounce Campaign, and think of the most rewarding aspect, she said, “The most fulfilling thing is definitely to see the whole council learn and grow together as a family, and knowing that Taylorians have enjoyed themselves.” She would like to take this opportunity to thank all the TU Student Council members and the advisors who have constantly supported her throughout this journey to make it happen.