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Public Relations Students Organize Relay for Life Event

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ Public relations students at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh will have the opportunity to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world through organizing "Relay for Life," an event to benefit the American Cancer Society, on Friday, March 30, at the Field House.

Relay for Life is a fun-filled overnight event designed to bring together community members who have been affected by cancer. The event will feature music, a celebration of survivorship and celebration of life. Participants will sign up as teams and take turns walking or running around the candle-lit indoor track throughout the night.

Joan Brown, director of the American Cancer Society office in Rouses Point and relay coordinator, said there is usually one community relay, which is held annually at the Clinton County Fair grounds. This year, however, there will be two Relay for Life events. The March 30 relay was the direct result of work by students Aimee Chauvot from Berne, N.Y., and Kara Strang from Poughquag, N.Y.

Chauvot joined forces with three other students to bring Relay to Life to campus. Dave Pariot from Pine Bush, N.Y., Kaitlyn Emory from Berne, N.Y., and Tali Levi-Crouch from Red Hook, N.Y., are public relations and advertising majors in the Center for Communication and Journalism. Working with Dr. Jonathan Slater, assistant professor of communication, these four students created an integrated marketing and advertising campaign for the Relay for Life event.

"Working on social marketing opens up the students' minds to the fact that not all public relations and advertising is done for commercial ends. It can also be done for worthy causes," said Slater.

According to the students, the goals for their campaign are to raise awareness and increase involvement of the campus community.

"We want to make this a big event," said Chauvot. "This is the first time an event like this is happening on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus, and we want it to continue on long after we are gone."

For any student planning a future in public relations, hands on experience is essential, and these four students are getting just that.

Working on this event has created numerous opportunities for the students and the project is allowing them to experience the world of public relations outside of the classroom

"This is what I want to do. I want to be an events planner, and I can gain that experience from working on this event," said Chauvot.

The group wants the community to enjoy participating in the relay.

"We want the event to be fun and educational," said Pariot.

"It's also awesome in the sense that we get to leave our mark and hope that the freshmen and sophomores will pick up where we left off and continue the event,"  added Levi-Crouch. "It's a good cause and helps raise awareness for cancer. Relay for Life will allow the campus community to participate in an amazing celebration for life."

For more information on the Center for Communication and Journalism, contact Peter Ensel at 518-564-4287 or Dr. Ron Davis at 518-564-2423.

For more information on the Relay for Life event, email Aimee Chauvot at [email protected]

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