Entrepreneurship Class Project Brings Renovations to Student Recreation Room

students playing ping pong

The Rogers State University Student Recreation Room will be hosting a grand re-opening to showcase several upgrades and improvements made possible by several students in an RSU entrepreneurship class.

“In each of my classes, I have a ‘hands-on’ project for my students – a tactile learning process,” began Dr. Earlene Washburn, assistant professor of business. “Within the curriculum for my entrepreneurship class, every week students implement a step in the process of starting a new business – one week, they’ll apply for permits, another week, they’ll find out what their taxes are, etc.

“Along those lines, the students took on as their project the renovation of the student rec room,” she continued. “It was in dire need of upgrades and renovations, and many students don’t take advantage of it as a resource, if they even know it exists.”

Each student was assigned a specific title and set of responsibilities for the project, akin to a business. Sara Loper was named chief operating officer, Johnny Bravo was named chief financial officer, Blake Couch was in public relations, Bradley Roberts was chief procurement officer, Jackson Stinnett was in oversight and Parem Patel oversaw quality control.

“This project had been brought to my attention my first semester at RSU,” Loper said. “Dr. Washburn asked the class if we’d heard of the Rec Room – no one had, so she took us to see it and everyone agreed the space needed to be utilized.”

For the execution of the project, the students managed it as though it was a business start-up, applying a business plan, collecting marketing data, procuring the needed supplies and items, and more.

After receiving feedback via a survey asking RSU students what they would want from an improved student rec room, Washburn’s students undertook the task of fundraising and getting donations through their connections to local business owners.

“One of them talked with the people at El Banquete Mexican Grill about the project, and they said they would donate a certain percent of their revenue made on Taco Tuesday towards the project,” Dr. Washburn said.  “In addition to that, a student gave another $500 on their own, which SGA (Student Government Association) matched.

“From the total they raised, they purchased a pool table, poker table, ping pong table, two smart TVs, Karaoke with speakers, all new board games, and simulation gaming,” Washburn said. “A generous business donated a side-by-side refrigerator with glass double doors and a smart 50-inch TV was also donated.”

Although Washburn said the project could still use another $1,000 to replace the old furniture in the Student Recreation Room, she’s exceptionally proud of her students’ determination and resourcefulness in turning this project into a reality.

“This was a very dynamic group of students that wanted to make this (project) happen,” she said. “They weren’t going to let anything stop them, and this (project) will benefit and be enjoyed by the student body for years to come.”

“I believe this (project) has taught us all how to communicate better, overcome obstacles, and what it is to be a part of a team,” Loper said. “Being a part of this made me excited for future students – that they’ll have a place to have fun and make lifelong friends.”

The grand re-opening of the Student Rec Room will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, on the first floor of the Dr. Carolyn Taylor Center (DCTC). Drinks and snacks will be provided. Students who bring a donation of a new board game will be entered for a chance to win Beats, an air fryer, or a dry erase board.

Persons wishing to contribute toward the purchase of new furniture for the Student Rec Room may contact Washburn at 918-343-7734 or [email protected].