San Jose State University initiated its first-ever SJSU Hex Badge program last week – an initiative designed for students to collect stickers representing the organizations, groups, and projects they’re involved with on campus.
Dan Nathan-Roberts, assistant professor at the department of industrial and systems engineering, started the program to allow students to showcase their unique backgrounds and campus involvement efforts in a more fun and creative way.
“A resume is such a formal way of communicating, I wanted students to show off their alliances and I realized that so many of them put stickers on their laptop,” Nathan-Roberts said.
The program aims to give students an opportunity to turn their laptops into a visual canvas, strengthening campus spirit by showcasing a wide range of teams that exist in school when students from different majors and interests work together.
When the idea of the program was initially planned out, faculty members involved were expecting to print out a few hundred of the various stickers.
However, the program successfully released 8,700 stickers into the campus community. The stickers represent 37 different groups and programs.
The Biomedical Engineering Society and the Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center currently have recorded the highest numbers of students with their group’s badges.
Through Nathan-Robert’s role as an engineering professor and an innovation consultant, he realized the importance of interdisciplinary work in the professional world.
Most organizations on campus are not tailored for students in one specific major but instead, call for students from all corners of the school to bond through common interests or goals.
“We all have our domains of expertise but we also want to be ‘T-shaped’ professionals that have depth of expertise in one field but a wide breadth of knowledge across different areas,” Nathan-Roberts said. “It’s crucial for success, and even different areas,” Nathan-Roberts said. “It’s crucial for success, and even different industries want to come to campus to get students to develop more
types of skills.”
Through the Hex Badge program, a student involved in various types of organizations is given a platform to acknowledge that fact by collecting stickers from the ones that they’re involved with.
For example, a student of the College of Humanities and the Arts who is also involved in working with the African-American/Black Student Success Center and is a former participant of the school’s study abroad program can collect a sticker from each of these programs.
“I think it’s kind of dope because we use a bunch of stickers to show what we mean and mean what we say and so to have these stickers to show pride to our community in SJSU, it’s like awesome,” fourth year sociology major Aja Adams said.
Adams works as the African-American/Black Student Success Center and found the center’s stickers displayed when she came in to work.
“I saw them in the Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center first and I went ‘oh wow’ this is so cute,” Adams said. “I didn’t realize it was a whole big thing being organized.”
The stickers are hexagon-shaped, allowing students to connect them together to create a growing network as they collect even more.
“The stickers not only help with the visibility [of being involved] just on campus, but when the students go into the workplace as well they carry these laptops,” director of development at the College of Engineering, Sela Gaglia said.
Faculty involved in the program hope that it becomes a continuous effort from this point on, and that even more student groups, clubs and departments begin to join in and and start creating their own sticker designs to be shared.
Interested organizations can reach out to Nathan-Roberts for sticker
“We didn’t get to everybody and we want to expand to more divisions and organizations that have the hex badges,” Gaglia said. “Athletic teams are very interdisciplinary and so are sororities and fraternities and we want them to be involved too.”