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Creating SLSA

Solving the impossible problem of coordinating student productions at Oberlin College

In 2018, I founded Student Light and Sound Association (SLSA) at Oberlin College, a student organization specializing in live technical production to raise the quality of student and departmental productions and to provide easy access to resources, training, campus connections, and support. SLSA helped to establish clear and efficient protocols and expectations for student productions across multiple student organizations. We frequently collaborated with Oberlin campus event support services, helping them train students in the adaptable ballroom theater space in our Student Union building and keep the equipment in that space organized and in working condition. At its height, SLSA was overseeing roughly eight productions per semester before we temporarily suspended our work due to COVID-19.

As SLSA’s chair and lead technical coordinator, I worked with Oberlin staff across divisions to integrate our work into the production processes of the various campus organizations with whom we collaborated. This typically included overseeing the technical and creative teams of many student productions to ensure they are creating realistic plans, designs, and schedules, as well as assisting them in executing more technically complex ideas. I frequently trained other students via workshops and one-on-one on software and hardware within our inventory and in various venues on campus. In collaboration with the other SLSA board members, I worked to establish an average semesterly budget of $7,000 so we could acquire additional equipment for use in our own productions and events and to lend to other organizations. This included a portable rackmount computer and audio interface, lighting/speaker towers, lighting controllers and dimmer packs, and various diagnostic and hand tools. I also maintained our organization’s website and kept documentation for our hardware and software inventory up to date to support our more than 30 members and the various campus organizations that worked with us.

More information on SLSA’s website