By Stephanie Mikneus
Students in Free Enterprise, known as SIFE, will compete in an anti-piracy competition to raise awareness of the illegal practice of downloading music and movies.
SIFE is a nonprofit national organization that helps students learn market economics, finances, business ethics, sustainability and skills for success in a free enterprise system in a real working situation, according to the SIFE Web site at www.sife.org.
This semester, this college’s team will participate in the third annual Anti-Piracy Public Service Announcement, or PSA, competition cosponsored by the national SIFE organization and the Motion Picture Association of America, commonly referred to as MPAA.
The students’ goal is to create an anti-piracy public service announcement to educate the campus as well as the surrounding areas on the effects of pirating media, said Dr. Charles W. Hunt, a business management professor and faculty adviser for SIFE.
The campus group placed 11th of 260 entries in the PSA competition in Dallas in 2007.
According to an e-mail letter written by Dan Glickman, chairmen and CEO of the MPAA, the motion picture industry alone loses $18 billion a year because of piracy.
Pirating is illegal, and many downloaders have been sued for pirating, but this is not the only aspect that affects students.
“Motion picture piracy is a crime that hurts more than just those who work in Hollywood; it also negatively impacts economies anywhere and everywhere films are made and sold,” Glickman wrote.
Hunt takes great pride in this college’s SIFE team.
The most rewarding activity for Hunt as a SIFE adviser is “seeing how students react when they are finished participating in a competition.”
“Students don’t understand the big picture until they participate themselves,” he said.
In other projects, members renovated two barber shops owned by senior citizens. Renovating the properties kept the barber shops from going out of business, Hunt said.
One shop owner, Maxine Mason of Mason’s Barber Shop at 404 Mittman St., said she could now work for another 10 years, Hunt said.
Makin’ A Million by Investing is an activity where members were educated on different investment options and used this new information to manage a fictitious $500,000 investment portfolio.
SAC SIFE Cookie Factory at Goodwin Frazier Elementary was a project where members taught four third-grade classes the basic principles of manufacturing, distribution and retailing.
Firstmark Credit Union/SIFE Teen Volunteer Fair Project was created for local high school students and featured a booth about the problem of piracy.
Work with SIFE sometimes results in jobs.
“We had a student hired right out of competition for a management position at Walgreens,” Hunt said. Another was hired for a management position at Wal-Mart and was transferred to Michigan.
Students in SIFE work hard to better themselves, he said.
“Learn as much as you can learn about leadership,” Hunt advised. “Say what your weaknesses are out loud, and then fix them.”
Students can join the club as an extracurricular activity or enroll in BMGT 2309-001, Leadership/SIFE.
For more information, see Hunt in Room 565 of Moody Learning Center.