FAB: the student organization working behind the scenes


Emma Van Winkle

Kent State FAB members at the Enchanted Garden formal Feb. 11. Members of FAB plan numerous student events each semester.

Leah Shepard, Staff Reporter

On the night of Feb. 11, hundreds of Kent State students flocked to the Kent Student Center Ballroom for the Enchanted Formal—an event that wouldn’t have been possible without the Flash Activities Board, a student-run organization that staffed and planned the entire thing.

The Flash Activities Board, or FAB, is responsible for planning more than 100 activities a year. Members describe FAB as “what happens behind the scenes” to plan countless student events, and despite being a relatively new student organization, has a rich history of activity planning on campus.

FAB’s predecessor, Kent Student Center Programming, operated for over 25 years before becoming the Flash Activities Board, said FAB President Jillian Mt. Castle.

Mt. Castle served as director of take-and-make crafts, a FAB effort to create a non-social activity for students, before serving as president of the organization for the 2022-2023 school year.

“It’s free programming for all students,” Mt. Castle said. “We want to create events where people can come have fun and meet new people, and overall enjoy their college experience.”

Mt. Castle, who discovered the organization through social media, said FAB helped her find her college experience after living at home during her first semester in Fall 2020.

“FAB is a really welcoming environment,” she said. “It’s where I found my friends. I was missing my college experience when I stayed at home the first year, and I really got that when I came back to campus and I met the people at the Flash Activities Board.”

Ariyanna Robb, FAB’s Director of Entertainment, echoed her sentiments.

“You know you’re going to have a support system,” Robb said. “We’re more friends than co-workers.”

Robb discovered FAB through a job search on Handshake her sophomore year and said it was the best choice she could’ve made for student employment. She’s in charge of all music and entertainment aspects of FAB events and has previously organized Harry Styles night, R&B night and is hosting a Taylor Swift night in the near future.

“I focus primarily on listening parties and building an experience for students,” Robb said.

Senior Director of FAB Tuesdays Sydney Shoaf said she enjoys planning FAB events.

“A lot of times it just feels like you’re spending time with some of your best friends,” said Shoaf. “It’s very open and loving. You can tell that we all truly care about each other.”

Shoaf, who is responsible for planning all of FAB’s Tuesday night activities, said it’s easy for FAB to “get lost in the noise” of the countless other clubs on campus.

“But that’s not a bad thing at all,” she said. “It helps that we’re growing every year.”

Shoaf said FAB tries to attract people who may not attend student events often by planning events that cater to niche interests.

“We’re expanding our audience,” Shoaf said. “It’s a really good way to get the word out.”

Robb agreed, but added that even though many students don’t know who they are, they still have a dedicated group of people who are interested in getting involved and helping FAB thrive.

“People just see the events, they don’t see who puts in the time and who does the events,” she said. “But fortunately, we do have a great group of people who do know who we are and come to all of our events.”

FAB works closely with volunteers from the Center for Student Involvement and Student Center staff when executing events for the student body. However, a majority of the responsibility falls on members of FAB and their advisor Joe Robinson to make events happen, Shoaf said.

FAB encourages all students who want to get more involved to give it a try.

“It’ll shape the rest of your time at the university,” Shoaf said. “It’s such an amazing experience. You’ll grow so much from it.”

Robb, who went “out on a limb” when she got involved with FAB, said she encourages students to “take the risk.”

“Look us up, do a little research,” Robb said. “Ask us in-person. It helps us be more on a student-to-student basis rather than a student-to-event-planner type of relationship.”

Mt. Castle said she encourages anyone interested in finding campus employment through FAB to apply on Handshake.

More information about FAB events can be found on KSU Engage, as well as the organization’s Instagram page, @fab_ksu.

Leah Shepard is a staff reporter. Contact her at [email protected].