Region VII Newsletter June 2019

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Highlights from our

REGIONAL DIRECTOR Greetings Region VII! Congratulations to those of you who have reached the end of another semester. I hope that you can take a moment to recognize the work you have done on your campus and the lives you positively impacted this past year! It can be an intense time of the year for folks in student affairs. We say goodbye to student leaders who we have had the honor and privilege of working with and wish them well as they move on to new adventures. It brings a smile to my face to know that they will be successful. To students in this time of year, you have amazing opportunities ahead of you. Whether it is your upcoming final year(s) in college or those first steps after graduation, you will have a new chapter in your life. To all, take time to appreciate each other. Ok, now for some updates… At the regional level, we will be offering a few opportunities for professional development both in person and online. Keep an eye on your emails for details. Plans for the 2019 Regional Conference at Rowan University are coming along. The Regional Conference Planning Team has been solidifying schedules, identifying opportunities for personal and professional development, and planning creative student engagement initiatives.

I will let them go into more detail about what is planned on Page 4, but keep an eye on our social media over the next few weeks and months. Region VII is in the process of awarding student and professional scholarships. The deadline for submissions was extended to April 19, and short-term volunteers Melissa Andreas and Emily Kofman reviewed applications with Kerry Spicer and Tiff Brodner. Recipients will be notified in the next few weeks and will be able to utilize funds towards student programs such as I-LEAD® and professional development opportunities such as the Women’s Leadership Institute, Annual Conference, etc. Due to the sizeable financial contributions of members like you, we have a surplus of funds available for scholarships. Several awards will be issued in the near future —stay tuned! Region VII is currently recruiting for the following positions on the Regional Leadership Team: 2021 Regional Conference Coordinator Business Manager Communications Coordinator Educational Programs Coordinator Inclusivity Coordinator For more information about each position, please visit Region VII's volunteer opportunities page. You can also directly apply to a position here. The deadline for applications is June 21, 2019. Interviews will be conducted by the current regional director (that’s me), the current membership engagement coordinator (or designee from the Regional Leadership Team), and the inclusivity coordinator from a neighboring region (or the designee of that neighboring regional director). Questions about deadlines or about the application process can be directed to Tiff Brodner. Currently in the Association, new directors for Regions II, IV, VI, and VIII have been selected and announced. In July, the Leadership Team meeting will occur in

Bloomington where current, outgoing, and incoming regional directors will meet the Board of Trustees, Education Council, special appointments, and Central Office staff. The agenda is currently being drafted but selection of the 2020 Regional Conference sites will occur as well as updates on the 2019 Strategic Guideposts. Please contact me with any questions or thoughts that you would like addressed during the Leadership Team meeting. Best,


GOALS 2019-2020 Advancing Inclusion goals into action by documenting standards in which our services incorporate everyone Aim to be the role model for other regions in defining the words diversity, inclusion, and equity and what that means for Region VII Build an engaged, caring, and welcoming community that strives to meet the need of all members Connect Community of Practice leaders and communities to engage and develop further learning & networks Create and implement an intentional assessment plan to help guide the region Creating a budget that is fiscally responsible and accessible Creating an education plan for the region that aligns with the associations education plan as outlined by the education council Expanding our knowledge of best practices outside the union by researching other industry standards (e.g. hotel, amusement parks, etc.) Foster holistic development for each member Foster personal well-being of members in our region through social connectivity and by providing an engaging atmosphere Identify inclusion and practices of equity and social responsibility within Region VII Identify innovative practices at member institutions to share their creativity in regional communication Maintain timely communications for events, and opportunities Provide diverse and accessible professional and personal development opportunities to all regional members Work towards making visible the invisible (mental health, autism, differently abled)

Updates from the 2019 Region VII



We asked Andrea Giachino, coeducation coordinator, about her Conference Planning Team experience so far. Here's the insider info about preparations for the regional conference: Following my first Regional Conference experience in Region VII, I joined the Conference Planning Team as a way to invest back into an organization which I have already received so much form. I am a very creative and outgoing person and find that being on the team allows me an outlet to connect with diverse colleagues from across the region to take on unique projects. One of the first initiatives I had when becoming the co-education coordinator was to deliver learning in many different formats. One of these is already coming to fruition; you will see an idea titled “Innovation Hour” in the call for proposals that went out on May 6. Many attendees gave feedback that they are looking for innovative ideas to bring back to their campuses. This new initiative will provide an outlet for people to share a short 20-minute presentation on an innovative idea, program, or approach they are using. I am very excited to see this education session occur and hope you consider submitting your Innovation Hour idea today !

Although we have only begun the planning process, I can assure you this year’s Conference Planning Team is working to expand our limits and bring a high quality conference to Rowan University. In order to do so we need a little help from our members. This includes nomination students for the Student Voices Panel, submitting traditional education sessions and Innovation Hour sessions, showing interest in working directly with students at the conference, or signing up for a fundraising program. These options can be found on the Region VII Conference website and within registration opening this month. This year’s team is committed to providing the conference experience you want. If you have an idea, feedback, or something to share you can find all members of the Conference Planning Team on the Region VII Conference website. See you in Glassboro November 14-16!

Mark your calendar for

UPCOMING EVENTS Essentials of Facilities Management Training Seminar Emory University, June 16-21 Student Organization Institute Xavier University, June 17-20 IPDS: New Professionals Orientation Indiana University-Bloomington, June 24-28 Region VII Drive In TBD, July 15-19 I-LEADÂŽ University of Vermont, July 21-26 Building Managers Seminar Arizona State University, September 20-22 Region VII Conference Rowan University, November 14-16 Women's Leadership Institute Amelia Island, FL, December 9-12

Reflections from the

ANNUAL CONFERENCE Michael Boerner, Stony Brook University I’ve attended conferences before, but this past March I attended my first ACUI conference and it was an excellent experience. I was blown away by the range of education session topics; from campus free speech to assessment, marketing to sustainability, there was something for every student union professional. What really made the conference for me was, despite the size and wide range of sessions, the experience was friendly and inviting. As a first-timer, this is definitely because of mindful planning by conference organizers, including meetings for small delegations and newcomers. At any of the luncheons and coffee breaks, there was always someone new to strike up a conversation and share experiences. A highlight was the small breakout dinner I attended on Monday evening, where anyone interested could join a dinner and unwind. I also presented our facilities department’s model of how to train and implement a high-impact events management team. Following my presentation I was able to connect with colleagues and students from departments across the country that had questions about our model, along with suggestions on how they overcame similar issues in staff management under some fairly common constraints (eternal struggles of budgets, staff turnover, etc.). Overall, I was heartened to be part of a larger conversation on how our efforts aren’t isolated, but are part of larger trends in supporting student achievement and success. For anyone considering attending an annual or regional ACUI conference in the future, the trip is definitely worth it. No one person or institution has all the solutions, but together we can be part of a bigger discussion where we can exchange ideas to move us all forward.

Reflections from the

ANNUAL CONFERENCE Megan Henry, Rowan University It was at my first ACUI Regional Conference in Buffalo, New York, that I was introduced to field of higher education. Now, five years later, the Annual Conference in Indianapolis was my third conference experience, and I have attended three Region VII conferences as well. I was very excited for my trip to Indy this past March! I look forward to conference season because it is such a great opportunity to reconnect and learn a thing or two along the way that you can bring back to your campus to improve your facilities, programs, and practices. I enjoy the community that conference brings together. You are able to meet and network with professionals from around the country – or even from around the world! One of my favorite experiences was meeting members of the delegation from the United Kingdom and from Australia as we compared programs on our campuses. Another great take away from this year’s conference was learning how to think of “Generation Z” students in a different light. From both things our keynote speakers touched on and targeted educational sessions I chose to go to, I never thought of this generation of students as needing help in targeted skill development. They just want to connect! We see this programming trend on our campus already and we are focusing on how to tap into that in the coming semesters. If you have never been to an Annual Conference, you should definitely consider going so that you too can meet new colleagues, learn from different perspectives, and be inspired along the way!

Reflections from the

ANNUAL CONFERENCE Meg O'Sullivan, SUNY-Downstate Medical Center This year’s Annual Conference in Indianapolis was another incredible experience for all who took advantage of the wonderful learning opportunities provided. For me it started at a spectacular fundraising dinner at the home of Marsha HermanBetzen. I was able to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones while enjoying a phenomenal dinner, soothing entertainment, and desserts that I still dream about! Donors who attended the dinner fully endowed the Education and Research Fund's Marsha Herman-Betzen Internship Program! Another highlight for me was participating in the preconference for Women in Leadership. I was a member of a panel of strong women with varied leadership and professional skills whose stories were inspiring. Again, I was able to reconnect with colleagues I had not seen in a year! The overall conference was a great opportunity to meet with vendors in the exhibit hall and follow up with folks that you work with mostly over email and telephone. The educational sessions provided great ideas for changing things up on my campus as well as a chance to brag a bit about some of the fun and innovative things my staff is doing at my campus. When I look back at the regional dinner and meeting, keynote speakers, opening night at IUPUI, the Honors breakfast, silent auction, and even the closing banquet, I realize how lucky I am to be a part of this Association. I have now attended 36 Annual Conferences and every year the conference program team pulls out all of the stops to provide participants opportunities to learn the latest trends in our field deal with the latest social issues occurring as well as make new memories with friends old and new. I cannot wait to see what the Atlanta Conference Program Team has in store for us!

Reflections from the


Region VII is extremely proud of all individuals recognized at The Honors ceremony on March 25. Award and scholarship recipients are esteemed as examples of successful leaders, scholars, and innovators in the field. How fortunate we are that so many recipients come from Region VII! Congratulations to our outstanding colleagues:

Gretchen Laatsch Grant and Scholarship: Elizabeth Desimone, Alaina Giovanni, and Dayna Weintraub, Rutgers University Greer Dawson Wilson Scholarship: Cara White, University of Delaware Excellence in Innovations for Sustainability Award: Give + Go Green, Temple University Steal this Idea Best in Show: Black History Month Promotional Campaign, STAMP, University of Maryland

Anthony Otero & Liz Desimone, Rutgers University

Reflections from the

ANNUAL CONFERENCE The Honors (cont.)

Facility Design Award: Findlay Commons, WTW Architects & Pennsylvania State University The ACUI Values Award: Michael Boerner, Stony Brook University Excellence in Volunteer Service Award: Kerry Spicer, Daemen College; Brian Magee, Ed.D, University of Rochester

Emeritus Award: Paul Knell, WTW Architects; Kris Corda, Cornell University; Marilyn S. Prime, Ed.D., University of Delaware Presidential Award for Distinguished Service: Anthony Otero, Rutgers UniversityÂ

Michael Boerner, Stony Brook University

Reflections from the

ANNUAL CONFERENCE At the Annual Conference this year, institutions with membership for 2549 years were honored for their commitment to advancing campus community. Region VII is proud that 17 of the 105 institutions call our region home.

Marist College Ramapo College Rowan University Salisbury University Stockton University Stony Brook University Suffolk County Community College-Ammerman SUNY-Downstate Medical Center Thomas Jefferson University University of Baltimore University of Delaware West Chester University

Bloomsburg University County College of Morris East Stroudsburg University Frederick Community College Lehigh University

Musings from Region VII's


COORDINATOR If you're Facebook friends with the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service recipient, Anthony Otero, you're familiar with his weekly "Random Thoughts" posts on Thursdays. The thoughtprovoking topics range from superheros to social justice. For the Region VII Newsletter, we've asked him to share some Random Thoughts on diversity and inclusion as it relates to our work in student unions and activities.

Random Thoughts on Diversity & Inclusion Just a note to Game of Thrones fans, "Bran the Broken" is not an inclusive term. People with disabilities are not broken. As we prepare for trainings with our student employees, please think about the inclusion of mental health in those trainings. Being human is an inclusive term, therefore no human is illegal. Undocumented citizens exist within our schools should be treated as…human. The best part of the summer is getting that tan. The not so good part is being told, “Look, I might get as dark as you” by a co-worker. As minimum wage rises and work study grants remain the same, have you thought how to manage your student employees who need this grant but may run out of money? Let's also talk about inclusion in policies. If you have loosely enforced policies (entry to campus, event security, etc.), then you leave yourself open to trouble. All-gender restrooms (like the one in your home) is a more inclusive term than gender inclusive. Are you considering religious holidays when scheduling students to work? Fat shaming is a real thing. Someone’s struggle, real or imagined, is not a joke. Take a closer look at your student employee job descriptions. If your job requires certain skills (like audio-visual) attained in high school, think about who you might be qualifying out. Being an ally means you see people for who they are and treating them as…human.

Check out these


OPPORTUNITIES Volunteer Volunteering for Region VII is a great way to expand your network, develop your skills, and give back to your professional association of choice. Find five open Regional Leadership Team roles and many other short-term opportunities online. Apply by June 21!


The theme for the regional conference is "Expanding Our Limits", and the Conference Planning Team is seeking quality content showcases the ways you are setting new limits and expanding upon your existing practices. Submissions for educational sessions, Innovation Hour presentations, and Student Voices Panel nominations are due September 13.

Work Did you know there are currently nine vacancies within Region VII posted to the ACUI Career Center? Find them and more online at ACUI's Career Center.

Introducing a new face on the


LEADERSHIP TEAM My name is Kien Truong (he/him), and I am a junior at Drexel University, majoring in global studies with a concentration in global justice and human rights. My involvement with ACUI started in the summer of 2016 when I was selected to participate in the I-LEAD program at the University of Puget Sound. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience as I learned and met so many inspiring student leaders and staff in such a short period of time. When I returned on campus, I was motivated to put what I learned into action through different projects and events such as Multicultural Night event and Textbook Affordability Campaign. Hard work was paid off. In March 2017, I was proud to receive the C. Richard Scott Memorial Scholarship and the Student-Driven Program of the Year at the ACUI Annual Conference. This also gave me the opportunity to attend the conference for the first time which helped me realize that I am part of a really large community. Honestly, I fell in love with ACUI. Therefore, I started finding ways to get more involved. In March 2018, I returned to the Annual Conference as a student panelist on the ACUI Talks: Student Voices Panel. Recently, I served on the ACUI Individual Awards Committee where I helped reviewed the nominations for the scholarships and awards which were presented at The Honors ceremony at the 2019 Annual Conference.

I am now extremely grateful and excited to continue my involvement as a

Introducing a new face on the


LEADERSHIP TEAM Student Member of the Regional Leadership Team. I am looking forward to working to boost student engagement and programming activities within the region, promoting available resources and opportunities to more students, and working with the team to make sure students are centered at all of our decision. Through this role, I am also hoping to spread the awareness about food and housing insecurity and hidden cost of colleges such as textbooks and child care and the important role of the student union and student leaders in helping solve this problem. Additionally, I am serving as president for the Vietnamese Student Association and professional development director for the National Association of Asian American Professionals at Drexel University, and as a member of the Association of Community College Trustees’ Student Advisory Committee. As an immigrant and a gay, first-generation college student from a low-income family, I have been motivated and passionate to represent and create space for underserved students to share experiences, communicate and collaborate with policymakers to ensure all students have access to quality education and the support needed to succeed.

"I am looking forward to working to boost student engagement and programming activities within the region, promoting available resources and opportunities to more students, and working with the team to make sure students are centered at all of our decision." -Kien Truong

What's happening


THE REGION Sabrina LoBue started in Student Centers & Activities at Rutgers University in February with many tasks, but one major one was to bring consistent late-night programming to campus for 2019-2020. They held their pilot Late Knight event on April 12 and they're all so proud of the result! Students were excited, staff were enthusiastic to support, and the event went off without a hitch. Check out the exciting event recap video online here.

The event was free for Rutgers students and included inflatables, super hero imposed photos, make your own cape or mask, word art, VR super hero video games, a DJ, refreshments, and more! In honor of Game of Thrones' premiere, we had an iron throne for photo ops and GOT cupcakes! The first 200 people to arrive received a free Thanos Infinity Stone. There was a super hero costume contest where the winner receive a $100 Amazon Gift Card and raffles throughout the night featuring a mountain bike, Keurig coffee maker, Funko Pops, and a Game Stop gift card. The Rutgers Student Centers & Activities team concluded the academic year with Late Knight: 90s and Trivia Night the following week. They look forward to hosting Late Knight every Friday night next year!

What's happening


THE REGION College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational Congratulations to all participants on a great 19th annual College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI) at the University of Houston from April 10–13, 2019. Each year, poetry slam teams from across the world travel to compete for top honor at this event. We're proud to celebrate the achievements of the following Region VII members:


1. Pennsylvania State University (bottom, left) 2. Barnard College (bottom, right)


Rutgers University & New York University The complete 2019 overall standings are now available online.

Bragging about the



The end of the year is a time for reflection and celebration. Many of our colleagues were honored by their own institutions or organizations as outstanding professionals. More congratulations are in order! Casey Coleman, Montclair State University The Office of Greek Life's Outstanding Campus Advisor Award Megan Henry, Rowan University Leadership Rowan's Advisor of the Year Toni Kampf, West Chester University WTW Architects' Outstanding Individual Award Reginald LeGrier, Howard University Howard University’s Division of Student Affairs' Student Affairs Superstar Award Olivia Lynch, University of Pittsburgh Pitt Student Affairs' Excellence in Student Services Award for Nordy's Place Percentage Nights Barrett McGee, West Chester University Student Leadership and Involvement's Thomas J. Purce Organizational Advisor of the Year Award Ambre McKenna, Rowan University Rowan University's Excellence Award for Inclusion Kristen Mruk, Genesee Community College SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service Jay Patel, University of Delaware The Hispanic Latino Graduate Student Association’s Staff Service Award Melissa Ulmer, Rowan University Alvernia University’s Young Alumni Committee's Four Under Forty

Bragging about the


CLASS OF 2019 The celebrations continue as we congratulate our colleagues who earned their degrees this year!

Kimberley Haines, Ed.D. Northeastern University Brian Magee, Ed.D., University of Rochester David Pennock, M.S.Ed., Syracuse University Ashley Vega, M.Ed., Rutgers University

Who's Innovating in Region VII



Sunsetting the Spring Concert For the last couple of years, the student activities professionals at West Chester University of Pennsylvania noticed that the annual indoor Spring Concert was no longer meeting the needs of students on campus. After benchmarking and looking at trends across the nation, a new idea was born: Ramboree. Ramboree was set to be WCU’s first ever large-scale, outdoor music festival. A concert, food trucks, carnival rides, novelties, T-shirts, and more were going to be the foundation for this new event which invited students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the neighboring community to campus to celebrate the end of the academic year. Despite some road bumps along the way including a tornado watch on the day of the event, nothing could rain on our parade and Ramboree was a huge success!

Research in Region VII When thinking about ways to improve the spring programming on campus Emily Kofman, assistant director of student activities, thought back to her time as a graduate coordinator for student activities at Rowan University. Rowan had transitioned a few years prior from an indoor spring concert to an outdoor festival. After conversations with the professional staff at Rowan and eventually bringing the Student Activities Council (SAC) to their campus to see their event Hollybash, there was still more research to be done and presented to campus partners to create a new tradition at WCU. Excited about the prospect of shaking things up on WCU’s campus, the ACUI Annual Conference in Anaheim, California in 2018 allowed important time for meetings with colleagues in the Association to learn what they are doing on their

campuses. Universities that were used for benchmarking both at the annual conference and throughout the semester included Montclair State University, The Ohio State University, and Shippensburg University.

Community Collaboration From the research three basic tenants were highlighted: the event should be outdoors, it should be free, and it should include more entertainment aspects aside from the typical concert. Armed with those tenants and the data to support them, the new event was proposed to the vice president of student affairs who created a campus committee tasked with planning this new event. Partners included groups such as student affairs, academic affairs, Student Services, Inc., Public safety, Off Campus and Commuter Services, Residence Life & Housing, the alumni association, and many more along with SAC. Since many of these groups on campus already did spring programming, the campus partners pooled resources together including finances and people power to bring this new event to life. After a full year of planning, the inaugural Ramboree took place on Friday, April 26 2019. While plans had been in place to have a ferris wheel, fun slide, and zip line outside on the Academic Quad, the weather unfortunately had other plans. Despite rain throughout the day and moving our outdoor event inside, the event was still widely successful. Thankfully due to careful planning ahead by creating a rain plan as well as the extreme flexibility of the grounds department, public safety, and our production company the event was able to transition inside with ease. More than 1,800 people came through the doors to check out different novelties, get an event T-shirt, listen to students perform on our campus radio “Hiring station sponsored side stage, students on the spectrum is a verypick positive development for the Student up tickets for the food stationed outside Center. Thetrucks employees at our Student Center have responded very well to the changes like I am part the listen staff. It has really truly been a blessing. If the gymnasiums we and hadI feel relocated to, of and this can be done at your university then it will pay enormous benefits. The staff will to our main stage act American Authors. be enormously grateful if you hire students on the spectrum.”

Planning is about to start for our second annual - Luke Tomczuk the Howard Ramboree, and we can’t Info waitDesk to staff seeatwhat a newGittis Student Center, Temple University year brings in April 2020. Hopefully no rain!

“Hiring students on the spectrum is a very positive development for the Student Center. The employees at our Student Center have responded very well to the changes and I feel like I am part of the staff. It has really truly been a blessing. If this can be done at your university then it will pay enormous benefits. The staff will be enormously grateful if you hire students on the spectrum.� - Luke Tomczuk Info Desk staff at the Howard Gittis Student Center, Temple University

Coming soon to


Takeover! We want to showcase your work in union or activities in action! Email NaQuan Redd at for the opportunity to takeover our Instagram account for a day or two. This is a great way to highlight unique staffing practices, fun events, or building improvements. We're open to whatever! Keep an eye on our Story for sites and scenes from commencements, summer programs, and behind the scenes action!