Contest to ‘jumpstart’ class awareness

With fall registration well under way, one class has been gaining a lot of attention in an unconventional way. Comm 175, Communication Essentials, is a two-credit class for non-communication majors. It combines the best of two other classes: Interpersonal Communication and Public Speaking.

A team of students, asked by the university to raise awareness about the class, launched a Facebook contest last week. The team of students secretly clipped miniature jumper cables, actually made of clothespins and wire, to students’ backpacks and bicycles around campus. The “jumper cables” included a short message about the class and information about a chance to win a $175 gift card from the

University Store and a URL to a photo on the University Store’s Facebook page. Adam Sweetland, a freshman studying recreation management, said he found the mini jumper cables attached to his bicycle and followed the URL to the Facebook photo.

In a comment on the photo, Sweetland said, “It was sweet! I didn’t know my bike could get jumped!”

The photo contained information about the class and invited  students to tag themselves or Like the photo to enter the contest. They were also encouraged to “jump-start” someone else by passing on the cables to friends or strangers.

Christy Clayson, a senior studying health science, in a comment on the photo said, “I was so confused when I got jump-started today. This is excellent though!”

Between tags, Likes and comments, the photo has over 500 people interacting and participating in the contest.

“Every student in every major needs communication skills,” said Steven Twitchell, a senior studying communication and one of the students promoting the class. “This class helps them jump-start those skills for relationships, careers—and their whole lives.”

The campaign tagline encourages students to register for Comm 175 to “put a spark in your relationships, energize your influence and jump-start your career.”

The class teaches listening skills, gender differences, non-verbal communication and managing conflict management. Additionally, it helps students develop confidence in preparing and delivering effective presentations and speeches.

While the class currently isn’t required for any major, it can be used in clusters and minors.

Harold Bishop, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering, is planning to register for the class.

“Most of the world’s problems are because people have trouble communicating, and it looks like this class will help me in the simple communication that everybody needs in the world … it’s something I can use for my major,” Bishop said.

Jaran Metcalf, a freshman majoring in general studies, also plans to register for the class because he thinks it will be fun.

“I’m hoping it will help me become a better communicator, especially the social aspect of it,” Metcalf said.

As of June 18, the class has open seats in five sections. More information about the class can be found at www.byui.edu/Comm/Comm175.htm, and the photo can be found by searching “BYU-Idaho University Store” on Facebook.

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