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Wednesday, March 8, 2006
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Bobcat Passport program supports extracurricular activities

ATHENS, Ohio (March 8, 2006) -- The Bobcat Passport program encourages Ohio University students to participate in an important aspect of higher education--campus activities outside the classroom.

The Bobcat Passport program gave participating students a "Bobcat Passport" to mark their attendance at university events. Students had an opportunity to win prizes including tuition, iPods, sideline passes and a year supply of books. This year's grand prize winners are: Rachel Jacobson, awarded one year in-state tuition (a $2,745 value); Krystal L. LaFontaine, awarded a year's supply of books up to $1,000; Danielle Fredricks, awarded a quarter's worth of books up to $300; and freshman Sarah Johnson, awarded an iPod.

"The program provided me with an incentive to be active on campus," Johnson said. "I could go out and enjoy activities from different areas of interest. It allowed me to broaden my usual idea of fun."

The program is designed to encourage students become part of the campus, meet new people and expand their knowledge by trying something new.

"By participating in the program you have a list of fun activities to participate in right in front of you," Johnson said. "You don't have to sit in your dorm room looking for something to do. The Bobcat Passport program is an important way to challenge students to broaden their perspectives by having to go to one thing in each category. A student might attend something that they wouldn't normally attend, and find out that they like it."

For students to be eligible to win the prizes, they are required to attend at least one event in seven areas: recreation, late night, diversity, resident assistant/faculty, performing arts, athletics and lecture. Many activities counted towards attendance such as Late Night Poker, Laughter after Dark, athletic events, speakers and plays.

"I attended a few football games, hockey games, an orchestra performance, an LGBT discussion, and helped with a Student Aide event, among others," LaFontaine said. "I chose what I felt I would enjoy since there are an array of events to choose from in each category."

This year was helpful in assisting project coordinators in learning ways to make the program stronger for students in upcoming years.

"At Ohio University, our greatest success with the initial year of the Bobcat Passport was that we were able to promote student involvement and engagement," said Chad Barnhardt, assistant director of student activities for campus programs.

Next year the Bobcat Passport program will be limited to fall quarter and move toward swipe-card technology to mark attendance.

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Media Contact:Assistant Director of Student Activities for Campus Programs Chad Barnhardt, (740) 593-9935 or barnhard@ohio.edu, or Media Relations Coordinator Jessica Stark, (740) 597-2938 or starkj@ohio.edu  

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