Senate’s Plans to “Pop the Dickinson Bubble”


Savanna Riley '17 wrote 'The Top 10 Things Dickinson Students Should Know' for the Senate and Cumberland Valley co-sponsored blog.

Over the summer, Student Senate partnered with the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau to launch “Dickinson Perspectives,” a blog that highlights student-friendly attractions in the region.

Savanna Riley ’17 and Trevor Diamond ’17 first came up with the idea for the blog while working as summer tour guides in 2014. According to James Dappert, Senate’s director of operations, Riley wanted to create a Carlisle page on the Dickinson website, providing students, parents and prospective families with student perspectives on local restaurants, events and activities. She then reached out to the Cumberland Valley Bureau and the Dickinson tab was created.

Riley and Diamond recruited writers, planned with Public Relations and Marketing from Cumberland Valley and got support from Senate. Riley reached out to Dappert to manage the blog while she was abroad.

Dappert reaches out to writers and communicates with Aaron Jumper, Communications Coordinator for the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau. The main goal of the blog is to inform students about local arts events, restaurants and recreational opportunities.

Dappert said that another goal for the blog is to “Pop the Dickinson Bubble.”

“We want people to actually know what goes on in Carlisle over the weekend or honestly, what goes on in Harrisburg, or all of the different scenes that you can go to around the Valley,” Dappert said. “We really just want to get Dickinson out there, rather than just keep Dickinson here.”

The Cumberland Valley Visitor’s Bureau, the official tourist site for the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization, has ideas and goals that go beyond the blog. The Cumberland Valley includes Harrisburg, Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, Carlisle, Shippensburg and more. According to Jumper, the Valley hopes to create a synergy between the students and the Visitor’s Bureau.

Jumper hopes the blog will provide valuable information for parents, students and also the community. While Dickinson students and prospective students will learn about what is off campus throughout the region, Jumper hopes the relationship will allow Carlisle residents to be included in Dickinson events such as Spring Fest.

“We see this as way to inform students of all there is to do while they’re staying in Carlisle and living in the Cumberland Valley. We see this as a long-term process… [and] as not only interacting with students and giving them an idea of things there are to do here, but also when parents are in town to participate in parents weekends, giving valuable information for when they’re here on places to go, places to eat,” Jumper said.

Since the first blog post, posted on July 2, the blog has been well received by the Valley, Dappert confirmed. Jumper also reported that the month of August brought the Valley’s website its highest-ever volume of page views.

According to Dappert, Senate hopes to start funding day trips and include blog posts for nearby big cities such as New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. They would also like to start funding the meals and tickets for reviews, but want to ensure that students are writing for the sake of the blog itself, not for economic gain.

Dappert’s main immediate goal for the blog is to have administration’s support. They already have support from the Office of Admissions, but Dappert hopes that will extend further.

“I want this to be part of Dickinson’s foundation, for not only Admissions telling people ‘oh go look at the Dickinson Perspective’s for where you might want to eat,’ but also to say, ‘hey there are things going on in Harrisburg this weekend for people’s favorite bands,’ they can really know what’s going on by reading that,” Dappert added.

The Valley hopes to expand this project from a “Dickinson Perspectives” tab into a “College” tab and include voices from other regional colleges.

“We’re hoping to do this with the other colleges and universities in Cumberland Valley, including Messiah and Central Penn College and Shippensburg University,” Jumper said, “Dickinson was the first one that we really started launching with this and we’re very happy with it so far.”

The blog can be viewed at Students interested in writing for the blog can contact Dappert at [email protected] or Jumper at [email protected]