Students blend java and jazz

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An imporvised jazz band in the Quad creates a coffee-shop vibe during “Express your Love.” Photo by Zam Anwar/Daily Titan Staff Writer

Students milled around the central Quad Tuesday afternoon and participated in the “Express your Love” event organized by members of the Public Relations Students Society of America at Cal State Fullerton.

The event was organized by Team Titan Blend, a three-member team of PRSSA students, who are competing in a the PRSSA National competition to promote Starbucks’ new however-you-want-it Frappuccino that launched May 5 and is half price during Mihaylo Hall’s happy hour through May 13. Local Starbucks’ happy hour continues through May 16.

Students were also drawn to the venue by soothing jazz music played by a group of students from the College of Arts who performed throughout the event. Other students showed off their artwork as they scribbled their opinions of the new Frappucino on the “express your love” wall put up by Team Titan Blend. Students were further encouraged to bring out their creative side by reciting poetry at the event.

“Starbucks is more than a drink, it is a whole culture on its own,” said Karla Nieto, one of the members of Team Titan Blend. “It is such a big brand, people get one just to look cool … it’s a part of pop culture.”

Nieto added that her team decided to bring in the jazz band to add a coffee shop atmosphere to the event.

“Jazz and poetry go hand in hand, and with that, there’s coffee… We’re definitely trying to bring Starbucks out to the public,” Nieto said.

Nieto said that students are generally stressed out during finals week and the event was focused on trying to relieve some of the stress.

“They call it stress week,” Nieto said, “and we’re trying to encourage students to come out here, get the juices flowing and take their mind off exams for a while.”

Nieto added that the campaign received a lot of publicity through event notifications on Facebook, and with the help of fellow PRSSA members and their adviser, Dean Kazoleas.

Jay Jefferson II, a junior business administration major, said he heard the music in the Quad and decided to find out what was happening.

“I had no idea about this campaign and I haven’t tried the new drink yet, but I think it’s great that these students are doing a campaign for Starbucks,” Jefferson said. “I do love Starbucks, but it would have been better if there was free food or coffee.”

Nieto agreed that free food or Frappuccino samples would have brought in more students, but since PRSSA members were not allowed to contact any managers or employees of Starbucks, free drinks were out of the question.

“They (PRSSA National) just wanted us to be independent and come up with ideas of our own,” Nieto said. “The main focus was to get creative with this event.”

Christa Keizer, a junior public relations major and vice president of the campus PRSSA chapter, said that the campaign ends Thursday, but students still have a chance to take part in two challenges and win prizes.

The first challenge, the Titan Blend Foursquare Challenge, gives students the opportunity to become the mayor of the Starbucks located at State College. The mayor will be announced May 17 at 5 p.m. and will win a $10 Starbucks gift card. Students can also create a one to five-minute video for a chance to win a $30 Starbucks gift card.

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