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CAB’s Collaborative Chalkboard Creators

Meet the students behind CAB’s chalkboard designs.

Written by Sophie Farrar

Nothing can stop you as you move through the Innerlink. You have tunnel vision as you move through students, on a mission to get to your class on time. That is until something finally gives you pause. As you're moving from the Student Center to the Music and Communication Building, you see two students from Campus Activities Board (CAB) drawing a new design on their chalkboard outside the Student Government Association (SGA)’s office. You stop to see what they’re drawing and to learn about CAB’s upcoming events. The colorful chalk manages to catch your attention when you thought nothing could. 

"...the chalkboard contributes to the space of the Student Center and increases people’s awareness of CAB’s existence in it."

The students responsible for CAB’s chalkboard drawings are Mackenzie Klinkiewicz and Adrian Snyder, two graphic design assistants for CAB. 

Klinkiewicz, who has been responsible for the designs since early last semester, is a first year student at Cleveland State University (CSU). As a 23-year-old freshman commuter, Klinkiewicz was looking for a way to get involved on campus and meet people after deciding to come to CSU a little later than the traditional freshman would. 

“I think I had seen on their [CAB’s] Instagram that they were hiring for assistants,” Klinkiewicz. “I applied for the graphic design assistant role and that’s what I’ve been doing since last semester.” 

As a graphic design assistant, Klinkiewicz helps CAB’s graphic design chair, Brenna Hall, create designs for promotionals such as t-shirts and Instagram posts for CAB’s various events. She is also the primary person responsible for CAB’s popular chalkboard creations on the second floor of the Student Center. 

Creating art is not new to Klinkiewicz, who says she has enjoyed doing so her whole life, and even attended Cleveland School of the Arts for part of her high school education. Klinkiewicz has played around with many different art forms, including physical art like acrylic and watercolor painting and digital art through drawing on Procreate, but overall considers herself to be a freelance photographer. 

“I’m always at all the CAB events taking photos,” Klinkiewicz said. “I started [photography] mainly in August, and I’ve been doing it kind of full-time since then.” 

Klinkiewicz encouraged Snyder, another freshman at CSU, to apply for a CAB assistant position after meeting him at an event at the beginning of the spring semester. Since applying and being hired, Snyder has helped Klinkiewicz create the chalkboard, first contributing to the one promoting CAB’s many spring events, including their annual Glow Party. 

Snyder’s addition to the equation has turned the creation of the chalkboard designs into a much more collaborative one. 

“I like collaborating,” Klinkiewicz said. “It’s better than doing it [the chalkboard] by yourself because you can have some way to bounce the ideas.” 

Klinkiewicz and Snyder will send ideas to one another and throw around concepts together until they can nail something down. 

Usually Klinkiewicz’s specially-crafted Pinterest boards will play a role in the brainstorming process, but inspiration for the chalkboard is also sometimes found in the events themselves or the other designs already created to promote it. 

“For previous ones, I’ve looked at Pinterest and then I’ll put a little board together,” Klinkiewicz said. “For the CABsino one, I kind of copied off of our design that we had for Instagram posts and posters and mimicked that design. Pinterest is where I get most of my ideas. Sometimes I just have a random idea and I try to figure out how to execute it.” 

With two minds and sets of hands contributing to the chalkboard, the process has also become a faster one. Depending on the difficulty of the design, before Snyder began helping, it would take Klinkiewicz anywhere from one to two hours to finish the chalkboard, longer than it takes her and Snyder to create the designs together now. 

Hall usually tells Klinkiewicz which events to promote on the chalkboard, with CAB’s bigger events typically being highlighted solo. During times where CAB has a busier event schedule, the chalkboard may feature multiple events. 

Klinkiewicz believes the chalkboard is more engaging than CAB’s other event postings around campus and on Instagram. 

“It’s more effective than just the posters or Instagram posts, especially because it’s right here in the Innerlink where a lot of people pass it every day, and because not everyone uses Instagram,” Klinkiewicz said. 

Klinkiewicz also believes the chalkboard contributes to the space of the Student Center and increases people’s awareness of CAB’s existence in it. 

“I feel like it kind of ties into the Student Center a little bit,” Klinkiewicz said. “Our office is on the third floor, so it kind of brings our presence in the Student Center forward.” 

Klinkiewicz and Snyder have both enjoyed their time so far designing for CAB and plan on staying involved with the graphic design team next year. 

Information about CAB’s upcoming events can be found in Klinkiewicz and Snyder’s chalkboard creations outside the SGA office on the second floor of the Student Center or on CAB’s Instagram @csucab.

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