Student organization helps reopened Storm Cellar with publicity

by Kelli Herzberg

After being shut down for a portion of the semester, the Storm Cellar is back open with the help of Simpson’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.

PRSSA is helping the Storm Cellar publicize its events, but the rumors of PRSSA taking over ownership of the building aren’t true.

“PRSSA has not and will not be taking over the Storm Cellar,” senior Jason Staker said.

SIFE remains the owner and operator of the Storm Cellar, but PRSSA is promoting it.

“We have taken on the promotions and marketing for the Storm Cellar,” Staker, president of PRSSA, said via e-mail. “[It] provides a place for students to have great food at low prices.”

Sophomore Alia Winterbottom said that even though the Storm Cellar has good pizza, it is inaccessible for a lot of students.

“It would be nice to have something like that here on campus,” Winterbottom said. “When it’s so cold people don’t want to walk so far.”

The Storm Cellar is located on the north side of Indianola’s town square. Tom Schmidt, assistant professor of management and SIFE adviser, said he understands the location problem.

“I wouldn’t argue with it,” Schmidt said. “It is two blocks from campus. We tried to pick an off-campus location that was close and that was the closest one available.”

PRSSA’s promotion of the Storm Cellar is part of an effort to enhance and practice their marketing skills.

“Our group has been looking to expand our reach and gain valuable experiences in public relations, advertising and marketing,” Staker said.

Despite PRSSA’s help, Schmidt expressed skepticism about whether the Storm Cellar can remain open.

“I don’t think it is going to make much difference,” Schmidt said. “We appreciate what they are doing. They are making an attempt to keep it open but I don’t think that is going to happen.”

Staker said no matter what, helping the Storm Cellar is a good experience.

“We felt working with the Storm Cellar on promoting business and reworking their image would be a valuable experience for both our group and the owners,” Staker said.

The Storm Cellar opened in May 2004, but didn’t make a profit until April and May of 2005. It closed briefly in November 2005.