“Oh! You’re the toilet people!”
This was something we started hearing a lot this year. Why? Because we are the toilet people!
This summer, we wanted to think of a new way of reaching the students that went beyond handing them free stuff and putting up posters. We first thought of the toilets as a joke, then realized we were really onto something.
Step 1: Find toilets…and clean them.
We searched kijiji high and low for free toilets. We ended up finding 6! Next step was cleaning them, which was a disgusting but rewarding task.
Step 2: Decorate them!
We enlisted the services of Amy St. Pierre, a Research Assistant with Dr. Colleen Anne Dell. She decorated all the toilets by hand and they turned out AMAZING! Better than we ever imagined.
Each toilet contained a design, often tailored the the building they were going to be in, that was along the same lines – “Where do you want to be at the end of the night?” Do you want to have your head in a toilet? Not likely! We like to use messaging that leaves open ended questions, but with obvious answers. This allows students to engage in self reflection and come up with their own answers, rather than being told what they should think.
Also on the toilets were our social media tags and a description of the contest. The student who could find the most toilets and post pictures of them to our Facebook or Twitter got the sweet prize! Many thanks to the Campus Computer Store and U of S Bookstore for their donations.
Step 3: Put them out and open up the contest.
Before students arrived for Orientation or Welcome Week, we hauled each toilet out individually and got our fair share of exercise for that day. We placed them all around campus both outdoors and indoors.
Once students started arrive, we began to pump up the contest in person and on social media. The response was amazing! It proved to be a huge talking point for students and we became known as “the toilet people.”
Step 4: Invite the Media.
We put out a press release prior to Orientation to let local news know about our event, our initiative, and of course, the toilets. We got an overwhelming response of interest! In those short few days we had appeared on CTV Morning Live (in studio), Global Saskatoon, CKOM/CJME, The Star Phoenix, The UofS Arts & Science website and Edwards School of Business website, The Leader Post, CBC Radio, and at a conference we learned coverage of our toilets reached as far as Ontario. We are so thankful for our local media and their continued interest and support in our initiative!
To see the coverage, please visit our media page.
Step 5: Store for next year.
This event was so successful, we hope to make it an annual occurrence! We will hide them in different places and get even better prizes. Thank you Residence for the storage space!
Check out the link below to see how #itsPottyTime went!#Itspottytime Summary