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Programming Vol. 46, No. 7 MARCH 2014
ENGAGING INTROVERTED STUDENTS Establishing Student-Advisor Expectations
New Ideas for Advising Relationships BUILDING INSTITUTIONAL BRIDGES THROUGH
Creative Employment Searches
700 MILES. 2 SHOWS. WE BARELY MADE ENOUGH TO PAY FOR GAS. THERE’S GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS.
There is! Learn more at blockbooking.naca.org
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
Vol. 46, No. 7 MARCH 2014
ADVISING Redefining Student Engagement through Student Organization Advisor Development.............................................................6
By Scott Lyons and Jessica Grady, Johnson & Wales University-Providence Campus (RI)
Establishing Mutual Expectations Crucial to the Student-Advisor Relationship............ 10 By Ed Kovacs, Arcadia University (PA)
In Search of Process: New Ideas for Advising Relationships............................................... 12 By Steven Harowitz, Washington University in St. Louis (MO)
Programming Advisors: Balancing Student Leadership Development Needs ............... 16 with Institutional Programming Goals By Eboni Turnbow, Wayne State University (MI)
COLLABORATION Building Institutional Bridges with Large-Scale Collaborative Programming— The Triad College Music Festival.................................................................................................. 18 By Steven A. Moran, Guilford College (NC), and Jeff Lail, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Setting Yourself Up for Success through Collaboration........................................................22 By Jessica Wilson, MBA, Valparaiso University (IN)
Communicate Across the Board for Programming Success............................................... 30 By Claudia Radke, Stetson University (FL)
DIVERSITY Engaging Introverted Students in Programming....................................................................33 By L. Thomas Wood IV, University of South Carolina
Intergroup Leadership as a Spark for Cultural Shift in Student Groups.......................... 36 By Mackenzie M. Crane, University of South Carolina
Increasing Diversity, One Month at a Time.............................................................................. 38 By Kaitlin Winters, University of South Florida
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT THE GRADUATE EXPERIENCE How Do You Conduct a Successful Employment Search when You Can’t Attend a Professional Conference Job Placement Function?.............................................. 42 By Kim Blank, Kenyon College (OH)
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NACA® SPOTLIGHT 2014 NACA® Research Grant Call for Proposals.....................................................................44 NACA® Webinars Continue...........................................................................................................44 International Experiential Leadership Institute..................................................................... 45 The Placement Exchange 2014................................................................................................... 45 Scholarships for Student Leaders Awarded............................................................................ 46 Zagunis Scholarship Awarded.....................................................................................................47 Ross-Fahey Scholarship Awarded..............................................................................................47 Upcoming NACA® Foundation Scholarship Deadlines............................................................47 Apply Now to Become Student Advisory Group Facilitator..................................................47 Campus News: Ken Brill, Dave DeAnglis Honored................................................................. 48 Share Your Good News.................................................................................................................. 48 Coming in the April Campus Activities Programming®......................................................... 49 NACA® Spring Events..................................................................................................................... 49 NACA® Leadership.......................................................................................................................... 50 NACA® Associate and Student Advisory Groups..................................................................... 51 10 Questions with … Tyler Micek, MS, Coker College (SC)..........................................................................................52
COLUMNS EDITOR’S PAGE When Life Happens…........................................................................................................................4 By Glenn Farr MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR History, HERstory, OUR Story.........................................................................................................5 By Matt Morrin CURTAIN CALL CLASSIC The High Price of Life in the Fast Lane...................................................................................... C3 By Mark Nizer ADVERTISERS American Program Bureau.......................................................................................................... C4 Fantasy World........................................................................................................................... 26-27 NACA® Block Booking........................................................................................................................1 NACA® Foundation......................................................................................................................... C2 NACA® Foundation by the Numbers...........................................................................................25 NACA® Foundation Scholarships................................................................................................. 41 NACA® Summer Institutes............................................................................................................. 15 NACA® Summer Leadership Event..............................................................................................32 NACA® Northern Plains Regional Conference..........................................................................35 Peer/CEP.....................................................................................................................................28-29 Wolfman Productions/The Race Experience........................................................................... 49
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When Life Happens... GLENN FARR
S THIS ISSUE WAS GOING TO PRESS, life happened – several times and in several ways. First of all, the production period for this issue coincided with that of the 2014 NACA® National Convention Program, one of the most important, if not the most important, publications we produce each year. However, its schedule went off the rails a bit due to an unexpected snowstorm that closed the NACA® Office for two days. Nevertheless, we creatively found ways to get this crucial guide completed on time and in our delegates’ hands on site at the Convention. Consequently, anything impacting the Program’s production schedule also affects the March issue of Campus Activities Programming®. Add to that, Mother Nature threw in a second wintry mix as we were completing final work to get this issue to press. Beyond Mother Nature’s weather shenanigans, though, life happened to me on a personal level when my mother’s sister, the one of her siblings with whom she was perhaps the closest, died a few days before our to-press date. Because she had been diagnosed with a terminal illness about 15 months earlier, her death was not unexpected. Still, it impacted me in ways I did not initially foresee. A few months after her diagnosis, she called me out of the blue. We had not talked in a long time because, well, life had happened to each of us and had taken us in different directions for many years. As I was about to under go some significant health tests of my own at the time, we compared notes about health and doctors, etc. I intuitively knew I’d never hear from her again and this phone call was her way of saying goodbye.
Chair, NACA Board of Directors Matt Morrin Executive Director Alan B. Davis MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Director of Membership Marketing & Events Dawn Thomas Marketing & Communications Manager Latrice Williams Editor Glenn Farr Graphic Designer Jason Jeffers Online Marketing Manager Wes Wikel Advertising Sales Lisa Stroud
Campus Activities Programming® (ISSN 07462328) is published eight times a year by NACA (January/February, March, April, May, Summer, October, November/December) exclusively for NACA® members, Copyright © 2014 by the National Association for Campus Activities. Editorial, publishing and advertising offices: 13 Harbison Way, Columbia, SC 29212-3401. NACA full membership is restricted to institutions of higher learning; up to five subscriptions of Campus Activities Programming® are allotted to member institutions based on full-time equivalent enrollment. Additional subscriptions are available for $95 each. Associate membership is restricted to firms whose talent, products, programs or services are directly related to the field of collegiate extracurricular activities; up to $144 of their membership fee is for up to three subscriptions to Campus Activities Programming®. Additional subscriptions are available to members for $95; to non-members for $95. Library of Congress card number 74-646983; Library of Congress call number PN2016.N32A3. Statements of fact and opinion, or other claims made herein, are the responsibility of the authors, letter writers, providers of artist performance reports, and/or advertisers, and do not imply an opinion on the part of the Campus Activities Programming® staff, NACA® Office employees, or officers, staff and other members of the Association. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce the contents of Campus Activities
For her memorial service, one of her sons had compiled a slide show of images from throughout her entire 77 years. I was a bit stunned to see how many of those images included me, my brother and my parents. Because my mother is now an invalid and could not attend, I asked my cousin for a copy of the CD so I could show it to her. When she watched it on my laptop, she asked if she could get copies of a few of the images so she could display them in her room at her nursing home. In communicating with my cousin to secure the desired jpegs, we reminisced via email about how much time we and our siblings spent with each other growing up; he even went so far as to describe my brother and me as “perfect cousins.” And he said he and his wife wanted to begin hosting holiday gatherings for all the cousins – like we had when we were all children. What became most apparent to me throughout these events and communications was the value of family networks and how easily they can come back to life if you only attempt to use them again – and that I still have a place in my family’s networks, a place I admit I seemingly abdicated for years because a lot of life had happened along the way. We talk a lot about networks in NACA, usually in the context of leadership development and pursuing professional ends. Regardless, when life happens, be it on the personal or professional plane, networks support us, sustains us and remind us we have a place among others who value us.
Programming®, either in whole or in part. Any reproduction includes, but is not limited to, computerized storage of information for later retrieval or audio, visual, print or Internet purposes. All protections offered under federal copyright law will be strictly pursued, and no reproduction of any portion of this publication may occur without specific written permission from NACA. No material can be copied, in any form, if the purpose is to sell the material. Periodicals postage paid at Columbia, SC. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Campus Activities Programming®, 13 Harbison Way, Columbia, SC 29212-3401. NACA, National Association for Campus Activities, Campus Activities Programming®, Programming, and all other designated trademarks, service marks, and trade names (collectively the “Marks”) are trademarks or registered trademarks of and are proprietary to NACA, or other respective owners that have granted NACA the right and license to use such Marks. NACA allows its members to promote their NACA® membership on Web sites and printed materials. However, this designation does not imply NACA sponsorship or approval of events or content. For questions about the use of the NACA® membership logo or to request permission to use it, please contact Dawn Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
History, HERstory, OUR Story
email@example.com University of South Florida-St. Petersburg
APPY SPRING! I hope that by this time that our friends and colleagues who have survived the Polar Vortex and have endured historic low temperatures and overly generous amounts of snow, cold and ice this winter are experiencing a little sun and warmth. It has been a very interesting winter. Who would have thought that the NACA® Office would close because of ice and snow in February while, at the same time, there were concerns that high temperatures would melt the snow in Sochi during the Olympic Games? There were a few times that I even had to turn on the heat in our house in St. Petersburg, FL. I survived; “the cold never bothered me anyway”… except when people are “left out in it” to fend for themselves or when “cold hearts” make decisions that are hurtful and do not move us as a people closer to equality for all. The weather may not have been very cold in Sochi, but the laws and sentiments of the government towards LGBT citizens in Russia certainly are, and I feel compelled to ask that all of us do what we can to support the people impacted. My fear is that life will become even harder for them once the international spotlight brought by the Olympics is no longer shining so brightly on Russia. Each February, we celebrate Black/African-American History Month. One of the great leaders in the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “No one is free until we all are free.” I think this sentiment is applicable to this situation, too. I am confident there will come a time when all people will not have to worry about their safety or their lives just for living and being true to who they are. That time has not yet come. Please do what you can to make sure you are on the right side of History when this finally does happen. Last April, NACA® Executive Director Alan Davis announced this would be his last year with NACA, and this February, he announced he had accepted a position as Executive Director of the VTV Family Outreach Foundation. Alan served NACA for more than 17 years and the Association experienced much growth and success during this time. I first became involved as a volunteer with NACA at about the same time Alan started as Executive Director. I, like many of you, have learned a lot from him. I know I am a better professional and practitioner of our craft because of my involvement and experiences in NACA, all of which occurred under Alan’s leadership. I feel fortunate I was able to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors with Alan as Executive JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
Director. On behalf of the Board and all our members, I wish Alan the best of luck and thank him for his years of service to our Association. Alan and the work he did are a big part of OUR Story and NACA is a stronger organization because of him. The search process for Alan’s successor is moving forward. The Search Committee has been working with a search firm that specializes in identifying leaders for associations. The Committee met with six finalists in February, and the Board of Directors will meet with the top two finalists in March. It is our plan to have a new executive director on board in April. Each March, we also celebrate Women’s History Month. When I consider what this means to me, the first thought that comes to mind is a quote by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich: “Well behaved women seldom make history.” In celebration of Women’s HERstory Month, I want to recognize our past female Chairs of the Board. All served NACA during times of change and had the courage to make tough decisions to move our Association forward. I’m sure they will take not being considered “well behaved” as a compliment in this context. Thank you to: Regina Young Hyatt (2008); Gayle Spencer (2002); Billye Potts (2001); Susette Redwine (1999); Laura Puckett Boler (1996); Myra Morgan (1995); Linda Picklesimer (1994); beth triplett (1993); Gail DiSabatino (1990); Ann Hale (1989); Caryl M. Stern (1987); Sara Boatman (1983); Patsy Morley (1978); and MaryJo Mertens (1977). Notice that less than half of our former Chairs have been women. In February 2013, I stated I would work hard to ensure our leadership is reflective of our membership, but I cannot do this without the help of all of our members. I encourage all of you to volunteer and get involved and to encourage others to do the same. OUR Story cannot be written, and will not be complete, without you. And finally, CONGRATULATIONS! to Shanna Kinzel, Chair of the National Convention Program Committee and the entire Committee for an incredible 2014 National Convention in Boston! You certainly provided everyone who attended opportunities to Connect, Collaborate and Communicate. I am very proud of you and the work all of you did to produce this spectacular event. It is definitely one to note as a HUGE SUCCESS when we tell OUR Story. Have a safe and fun Spring Break! And do something you would be proud to read about in a child’s History book.
Redefining Student Engagement through Student Organization Advisor Development By
Scott Lyons and
Johnson & Wales University-Providence Campus (RI)
TUDENT AFFAIRS PROFESSIONALS ACROSS THE COUNTRY are feeling the “budget crunch” blues and significant pressure to provide evidence of learning and student engagement. A common approach to enhancing student engagement has been to promote faculty-student interaction outside the classroom through involvement within student clubs and organizations. Involvement in clubs and organizations significantly impacts student learning and success through peer and faculty interaction (Astin, 1984, 1999). For that reason, it is no surprise that the roles, responsibilities and styles of advising have been commonly discussed in literature and professional discourse within the field of student affairs. Student engagement is commonly defined by two key elements: the level of time and energy students invest in their college experience, and the effort an institution commits to promote learning and development through participation in structured programs and activities (Kuh, 2001). There are plenty of how-to manuals that define various advising styles; however, there is limited research on how to forge positive faculty-student interactions through advising student organizations that promote student engagement and learning. Research has indicated that faculty and staff primarily learn how to advise student organizations haphazardly (De Sawal, 2007), thereby limiting the impact of key stakeholders in the success of the advising relationship for students in group settings and leadership roles – student affairs professionals. 6
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Reshaping advising and mentoring resources for students in group settings and leadership positions is an area prime for research and practice to establish key learning outcomes for students. We would like to issue a charge to student affairs professionals to redefine how they approach enhancing the co-curriculum through strengthening advising structures for student organizations. To assist with this effort, we administered a survey of open-ended questions to 25 faculty and staff advisors to student clubs and organizations from a few different institutions, revealing important considerations we will discuss. Finally, we offer recommendations to help transform the impact of the advising relationship on student development and engagement outside the classroom.
A Dose of Reality on Advising Creating advising structures that strengthen student development sounds great in theory. However, few institutions have demonstrated success in developing and sustaining models for effective advisor development. Student involvement in clubs and organizations provides access to a network of peers and professionals, promoting development of leadership and professional skills (Miles, 2011). Additionally, student organizations “help fill a gap in the curriculum,” especially those that are industry-specific (Bush & Miller, 2011, p. 490). However, not all faculty and administrators are willing or able to commit time outside of their classroom and research commitments to participate in student activities and advise student organizations (Schuh, 1999). Moreover, not all faculty are suitable to advise student organizations due to the lack of skill training and knowledge to be effective in an advising capacity (Astin, 1984). Stated simply, being a subject-matter expert doesn’t mean an individual is equipped to be a “good advisor” to student organization members and leaders. Recruiting an advisor is not necessarily difficult if you use an approach commonly taken by many student affairs professionals and students – to find someone the students know and like. After all, most people can sign a form, check in at a meeting or two each month, and attend a few events; you might as well make sure it’s someone who is liked and trusted by students, right? Wrong! Unfortunately, the minimal amount of required work is a key selling point promoted by many student affairs professionals and students to convince faculty and staff members to take on a position of advising a student organization, rather than promoting the developmental benefits for students and the potential advisor alike. Furthermore, conflicting attitudes between student leaders and advisors have also been known to decrease the perceived value of student organization advising by students and advisors (De Sawal, 2007).
foster leadership development and followership. The advisor’s responsibility for program content adds value to student involvement in alignment with the mission of the organization and institution. Dunkel and Schuh (1998) expanded upon the roles of student group advisors, summarizing the importance to serve as: a) mentor, b) supervisor, c) teacher, d) leader, and e) follower. It is widely accepted by student affairs professionals that advisors play a multitude of roles and must be flexible in their style given the context of the situation and group dynamics. Dunkel (2004) described the key functions of student organization advising to be to prepare student leaders for their role within their organization, participate in meetings and events when possible, provide helpful information and access to resources, interpret institutional policies, and provide encouragement and support for members. The majority of research on student organization advisor development is focused on student affairs professionals, revealing a major limitation since these professionals are often mentored or trained in graduate preparatory programs before assuming full-time positions where advising is expected as a job function (De Sawal, 2007).
What Needs to Change? Not every student leader knows what they are seeking from their advisor, or even where to start. In general, little is known about the most beneficial style of advising or advisor type for students from the limited research on the subject (Brown Jordan, 2012). Many student affairs professionals report that the greatest challenge is finding someone who supports the student organization’s mission and sees the benefits of the learning opportunities that happen in group context outside the classroom. Yarbrough (2002) attributes successful student organization advising to easy access to the advisor and the organizational members. Yet, this offers a limited view of the complexities of the relationship between student organizational leaders and advisors. Like any change initiative, it is important to conduct a needs assessment to understand what advisors believe is most important for their success in advising student organizations. To gain a better understanding of this, we conducted a brief survey of 25 faculty and staff advisors from various institutions. Responses from participants revealed three key recommendations for student affairs professionals who oversee advising structures on their campus: 1. Offer traditional training in untraditional ways; 2. Assist the relationship-building process with students; and 3. Recognize how advising is vital to student success.
Advising at a Glance
1. Offer traditional training in untraditional ways.
The role of student organization advisors has been defined by several scholars and practitioners over time. According to Bloland (1967), advising student organizations involves assuming responsibilities in three distinct areas: maintenance, group growth, and program content. Maintenance functions call for the advisor to serve as historian and policy enforcer. Group growth functions require the initiative of the advisor to promote group development and effectiveness; in this function, the advisor serves as teacher and coach to
The traditional approach to selecting the content expert or any advisor capable of helping a group establish a good footing has its limitations, especially when learning and student engagement are at stake. Conducting an initial audit with student leaders on the type and level of support they receive from their current advisors can help set the stage for meaningful conversations about the core knowledge, skills and abilities essential to advise their specific organization at a given period of time. When students have an advisor who
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is active and engaged, they are more likely to participate in training and development programs. Advisor training programs can certainly be a great first step to shape the impact of advising on student engagement. Unfortunately, many institutions rarely offer training outside of providing advising guides and key documentation to share advising styles or advisor duties. Traditional practices for advisor training programs involve tips for working with students, describing the various roles and responsibilities of advisors and overviewing relevant policies and procedures. Yet, these programs typically provide little interaction on any intentional effort to meet shared student learning outcomes. The greatest obstacle to creating and sustaining effective advising resources is time â€“ time to recruit the type of person who will take the role of advisor seriously, time to pull advisors and students together to meet and set mutual expectations, and time to properly recognize those who make a difference. Depending on the type of organization, advisors might have different needs and expectations to motivate students that should be reflected in training and development initiatives. Holzweiss, Rahn and Wickline (2007) found that motivators for student involvement in organizations vary by organization type. For example, students involved in academic student organizations often are motivated by career development opportunities, skill-building activities and networking, while students involved in non-academic student organizations are often motivated by self-expression opportunities, relationship building, and service to others. Providing networking opportunities has proven to be an effective practice for many student affairs professionals to promote greater student engagement and encourage advisors to want to continue their work with student organizations. Networking activities are great opportunities for relationship building and idea sharing. For many, networking socials and group meetings with a group of advisors has promoted greater collaboration for campus programs and training for student leadership transitions. Both informal and formal interaction between advisors and the student affairs office are ways to encourage advisors to stay active and better relate to students. Scheduling structured networking activities and socials can be difficult due to conflicting class and work schedules for all involved parties. Keep in mind that networking can happen virtually and may even be more convenient for busy faculty and staff members who are committed to advising student organizations. Training efforts should not be a onesize-fits-all format. Examples of innovative training and networking practices include developing webinars, brief videos or podcasts, message boards and interactive chats online. Setting time aside to offer one-on-one coaching sessions with a timid new advisor, or hosting occasional meetings with seasoned advisors can go a long way to support advisor development, student learning and success.
2. A ssist the relationship-building process with students. Many advisors reported that a meeting or training with student leaders to connect and set expectations at some point during the year would be valuable. Leaving this process to the students and advisors is not fitting the bill, nor is it setting the stage for successful learning partnerships. Support needs to be defined between the student organization leaders and advisors. Student affairs professionals have a unique opportunity to be the facilitators of an organic process to create opportunities where student organization leaders and advisors are setting expectations and building learning partnerships. Limited budgets and lack of time are considered common obstacles to providing the recognition and appreciation for supporting students in their co-curricular endeavors. Students and administrators must find ways to show appreciation for the hard work and time that advisors dedicate to support the student experience. Advisor appreciation days, spotlights on exceptional advisors and their work with their student organizations, and written citations for professional portfolios that help faculty or staff be considered for promotion help transform attitudes to value the advising relationship and its impact on student and organizational success.
3. R ecognize how advising is vital to student success. The little value placed by many student leaders and current advisors on the advising relationship beckons student affairs professionals to take the lead in shifting attitudes and forging meaningful mentoring and advising relationships between student leaders and advisors. Assessment measures to demonstrate the impact of advisors on learning outcomes and professional development is viewed as beneficial to not only the students, but also to demonstrate professional development of the faculty and staff who volunteer their time to advise. It is becoming more obvious that effective advising requires a willingness, skill-set, and time to work with students to shape learning and success within their organizations. Winning over key administrators to encourage their staff or faculty to serve as advisors requires evidence that can be demonstrated in town hall meetings, and newsletters and annual reports, and assessed through focus groups and interviews with students and advisors. Student organizations directly and indirectly offer experience for students to develop and strengthen the skills and experiences desired by employers in increasingly competitive markets (Miles, 2011; Velasco, 2012). The student-advisor interaction within student organizations is an area that requires greater attention as the pressure increases to assess student learning and enhance student engagement. Creating a model based on an understanding of what students can accomplish given the right guidance within your campus context has the potential to provide faculty and staff with additional ways to help students reach their full potential.
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References Astin, A.W. (1984). Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25, 297-308. Astin, A.W. (1999). Involvement in Learning revisited: Lessons we have learned. Journal of College Student Development, 40(5), 587-598. Bloland, P.A. (1967). Student group advising in higher education. (Student Personnel Series No. 8). Washington, D.C.: The American Personnel and Guidance Association. Brown Jordan, G.P. (2012). Advising Style Perceptions and Preferences of Students and Advisors. Dissertations. Paper 26. http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/diss/26 Bush, L., & Miller, B.M. (2011). US student-run agencies: Organization, attributes and adviser perceptions of student learning outcomes. Public Relations Review, 37, 485-491. De Sawal, D.M. (2007). Understanding how student organization advisors approach advising. (PhD, Indiana University). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, (304858897). Dunkel, N.W., & Schuh, J.H. (1998). Advising Student Groups and Organizations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, Inc. Holzweiss, P., Rahn, R., & Wickline, J. (2007). Are all student organizations created equal? The differences and implications of student participation in academic versus non-academic organizations. College Student Affairs Journal, 27(1), 136-150. Kuh, G.D. (2001). Assessing what really matters to student learning: Inside the National Survey of Student Engagement. Change, 33(3), 10-17, 66. Miles, J.M. (2011). Reflections of student government association leaders: Implications for advisors. College Student Journal, 45(2), 324-332. Schuh, J.H. (1999). Guiding principles for evaluating student and academic affairs partnerships. New Directions for Student Services, (87), 85-92. Velasco, M.S. (2012). More than just good grades: candidates’ perceptions about the skills and attributes employers seek in new graduates. Journal of Business Economics & Management, 13(3), 499-517. Yarbrough, D. (2002). The engagement model for effective academic advising with undergraduate college students and student organizations. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education & Development, 41(1), 61-68.
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About the Authors Scott Lyons is Director of Student Activities at Johnson & Wales University-Providence Campus (RI), where
he previously served as Associate Director and Assistant Director. Active in NACA, he served as the 2012 Student Government West institute Coordinator, as the 2010 NACA® Northeast Regional Conference Program Chair and as the Regional Liaison to the Board of Directors for NACA® Northeast in 2012. He is the recipient of the Donald L. McCullough Award (NACA® Northeast, 2013) and the McDermott/Delaney Staff Programmer Award (NACA® Northeast 2010). He is pursuing an EdD in higher education administration from Northeastern University (MA). He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in human resource development, both from Towson University (MD). Jessica Grady is Assistant Director for Student Involvement at Johnson & Wales University-Providence Campus. She
previously served as a Graduate Intern for Student Activities and Student Center Operations at Central Connecticut State University. Active in NACA, she has served as an Educational Session Reviewer and on the Campus Activities Marketplace Staff for NACA® Northeast.
CREATING ADVISING STRUCTURES THAT STRENGTHEN STUDENT DEVELOPMENT SOUNDS GREAT IN THEORY. HOWEVER, FEW INSTITUTIONS HAVE DEMONSTRATED SUCCESS IN DEVELOPING AND SUSTAINING MODELS FOR EFFECTIVE ADVISOR DEVELOPMENT. 9
ESTABLISHING MUTUAL EXPECTATIONS CRUCIAL TO THE STUDENT-ADVISOR RELATIONSHIP By Ed Kovacs
Arcadia University (PA) AS A STUDENT LEADER, you may be curious as to why you have an advisor for your program board or student organization. Most program boards are advised by a full-time administrative staff member from student affairs – the division that generally supports student housing, leadership, activities, conduct and wellness. Although there are exceptions when graduate students or even faculty members advise program boards, we will focus on the student affairs advisor.
An advisor is … Most student affairs advisors have master’s degrees in higher education, counseling, human resources, or college student personnel. This academic training provides the theoretical framework within which to practice effective advising. Your advisor may be currently enrolled in graduate school or a new or seasoned professional. We have personal lives, partners and families, and most of us struggle with work-life balance. We want to attend evening meetings and weekend events while also attempting to have lives outside of work. Advisors care about your individual development, as well 10
as that of the group. We serve as champions for students and challenge individual and group decisions to engage in teachable moments. We likely were involved as undergraduates, which led us to pursuing careers committed to college student development. We enjoy our work; find fulfillment in student success, satisfaction, and growth; and pride ourselves in serving the academic mission as educators. Most advisors subscribe to the popular Nevitt Sanford theory of challenge and support. We challenge to foster student learning, but do so by cultivating an environment of support. An effective balance of challenge and support creates conditions for student growth. As advisors, we had our time to lead – our role is not to do; rather, advisors advise. Short of the rare, extreme circumstances when we must step in and be hands-on, we guide and play a devil’s advocate role, but will not instruct the organization or its leaders on what to do. You might be wondering how your organization was designated its advisor. In most cases, based on our job descriptions, we are assigned to your program board. For general student MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
organizations, my hope is that you choose this individual. And in cases when the program board advisor departs the institution, it is imperative that student leaders are at the table sharing their voice in choosing the next advisor.
Creating mutual expectations … For program boards to be successful, it is vital that the studentadvisor relationship is built through establishing mutual expectations and is cultivated with respect, honesty and open communication. What are expectations? Expectations are a series of agreed-upon principles, requirements and standards. Examples could include: • We agree that the advisor and president will meet weekly. • We agree that the advisor will attend all executive board meetings. • We agree that the advisor will attend two-three events per semester/term. • We agree that the advisor does not call meetings of the organization. • We agree that the advisor will serve as a counselor and mediator when appropriate. Expectations establish rules for the relationship, are clear, and eliminate ambiguity between advisor and students. Expectations must be established from the beginning, reviewed regularly, and can be adjusted when agreed upon. Conducting a web search for derivations of “advisorstudent expectations” results in numerous tools, documents, handbooks, checklists and recommendations that can assist you in creating resources for establishing mutual expectations. These best practices can help determine and guide you in setting expectations. When you adopt or create a tool based upon the resources available, work collaboratively with your advisor to construct the instrument. Discuss the tool with your fellow student leaders to ensure it serves an effective purpose to support the workings of your program board. Whatever tool you use – be it a checklist, ranking sheet, series of statements, or a hybrid of these elements – the outcome is to develop and facilitate expectations that are mutual, clear, concise and realistic. What does it mean to set realistic expectations? Often students and advisors can have very different outlooks, which is why mutual consensus is very important. Being realistic means all expectations are attainable and reasonable for both sides to accomplish.
Utilizing the tool to establish mutual expectations … Once the appropriate tool to set expectations is agreed upon, students should complete the instrument on their own and the advisor should do the same. From here, there are several ways to incorporate the instrument in creating mutual expectations. The advisor and student can discuss expectations one-on-one. Comparing instruments side-by-side will illustrate where agreement may or may not exist. This visual representation opens lines of communication and each party is able to share its views and perceptions, with the end goal being to reach consensus. This consensus should then be documented for both sides. Additionally, members of the executive board could choose to complete the instrument individually and then tabulate results as a group. This tabulation will present themes arising among the student leaders, as well as raise awareness of areas of ambiguity. An exercise of this nature can help student leaders develop team expectations to be shared with the advisor. Each student must have a voice in this consensus-building process, as well as in the communication with the advisor. Regardless of the instrument or methodology used, mutual expectations of respect, communication, honesty, transparency and professionalism are bound to be agreed upon. MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
When conflict occurs … What happens when expectations go awry and conflict arises? It is inevitable that relationships will not be perfect and that stress and lack of communication will occur. Acknowledging the inevitability of conflict emphasizes the importance of reflecting on established expectations that were initially formed. Conflict is regularly viewed as negative. However, when addressed proactively and constructively, conflict often leads toward progress. How can student-advisor conflict be managed to reap success? When addressing conflict with your advisor, request an in-person meeting. Communicating via e-mail and social media are not effective and often further exacerbate the issue. Strategize with your peers and identify expectations needing attention. Reflect on the expectations previously set. In the meeting, analyze current expectations to determine where disconnects exist. Share concerns and feelings, but present a proactive solution and plan for finding resolve. Identify a timeline and check-ins to gauge progress. Accept responsibility for where assumptions may have been made or where miscommunication occurred. Work collaboratively to advance the relationship. And based upon the metrics to which you have mutually agreed, ensure progress is occurring and that both parties are committed to conflict resolution. Students should be all-in and, although there will be discomfort, the exercise of resolving conflict is practical in supporting all relationships. In the end, if you have made a good faith, professional effort to resolve conflict and your advisor is not open or committed to restoring mutual expectations, you may then choose to contact your advisor’s supervisor. Please use this tactic only as a last resort.
Essential to the student-advisor relationship … Establishing mutual expectations is essential to developing the studentadvisor relationship. Setting expectations is not a novel concept and is often done within the context of program boards. Whether expectations are established through one-on-one meetings and group exercises or through regular conversations, it is valuable to have a formalized process for creating and documenting transparent expectations. Setting expectations does not totally eliminate conflict, however. At its core, conflict is uncomfortable and easy to avoid, but avoidance only makes the conflict worse. Students must not be hesitant to take ownership of the conflict resolution process and in doing so, will foster the student-advisor relationship and advance the organization forward. Further, practice in expectation setting and conflict management builds skills for all aspects of personal and professional life.
About the Author Ed Kovacs is Assistant Dean of Students for Engagement and New Student Programs at Arcadia University (PA). He previously served as Director of
Campus Activities at Drexel University (PA), as Director of MBA Student Activities at New York University and as Director of Student Center & Student Leadership Development at Quinnipiac University (CT). He holds a bachelor’s degree from Millersville University (PA) and a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University (OH). Active in NACA, he served as the 2013 NACA® National Convention CAMP Coordinator and was the Northeast Region’s CAMP Coordinator in 2003 and 2004. He is a Grand Council Director for his fraternity, Phi Sigma Kappa. He was the recipient of the 2013 Honor Dragon Award and the Hackney Award for Service to Students (2011 and 2012), both from Drexel University. In 2011, he was named Drexel University’s Advisor of the Year. Kovacs has written articles for Campus Activities Programming® on several occasions. 11
In Search of Process: New Ideas for Advising Relationships
By Steven Harowitz Washington University in St. Louis (MO)
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ACH WEEK BRINGS A SMATTERING OF STUDENT ONE-ON-ONE SESSIONS TO MY OFFICE. The students and I chat about life, leadership, grades and opinions. And so it goes each week. These meetings bring about different outcomes with few constants (the topics mentioned before comprise the usual rotation). Starting with this academic year, my aim has been to considerably overhaul the oneon-one processes and empower student leaders to take ownership over their own development. I felt I had all the inside information and I understood the direction of the development, but I don’t believe I shared enough of it with the student. I wanted to find a way that better included the student in the process. From this goal, came a grouping of new initiatives I’m testing on the Social Programming Board’s executive board at Washington University in St. Louis and I would like to share these with you.
Context I want to provide some context as to where these ideas came from. I base my advising practices on two beliefs wonderfully taught to me by a mentor/supervisor, Sarah Morgan, at the University of South Carolina: “hands on, not hands in” and “one-on-ones are the student’s time, not mine.” “Hands on, not hands in” means I’m present and engaged in the organization’s operations, but I don’t make decisions for the students. I tell students to prepare for this. However, each year, at least one student comes to me seeking definitive answers. They sometimes leave frustrated when I just turn the question back on them. (At one point, students at USC referred to this as being “Stevened.”) “One-on-ones are the student’s time, not mine” takes a few meetings for new student leaders to understand. I’m not a supervisor, so I don’t want students coming into meetings expecting me to check in on their weekly to-do items (we will inherently cover some of that in conversation and I will ask a few “double-check” questions at the end). Students should be able to use the 30 or 60 minutes to discuss what they need to discuss, which is great because it leaves the door open for conversations about academics, family life, the organization, the student’s struggles, or any other imaginable topic. A key factor in the success of these ideas is where I stand in relation to Social Programming Board. I deal in influence rather then control – which I prefer. It means I must work at relationships and prove that my input and mentorship is valuable. It’s also great because it keeps me from resting on status or position when I need to nudge for change. This also means I can’t force students to do anything (no matter how much I think reflection journals are important). I’m sharing the exciting half of this process, which is just the idea. The implementation of these, and their effects, hinge on the students choosing to buy-in. Because of this, I believe the initiative’s impact will rise exponentially because it’s challenge by choice and the students have chosen to invest. I know this might not be the case for all student organizations; I’ve worked with difficult groups before and no matter how impactful the initiative could be, sometimes it just doesn’t work.
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Testing New Concepts Life Stories Before one-on-ones start for the semester, I meet with each student leader for 30 minutes to hear their “life story.” Often when I start with, “Tell me about your life,” and the student tumbles through family layouts and their journey to Washington University. It gives me a foundation on which to build a relationship and often yields some interesting connection points for each of us. It’s not a complete foundation, but it helps to build the relationship before the stress of the upcoming semester sets in.
Expectations Review Expectations are incredibly important to me. Students can’t read my mind as to how I define success, so I have to say it out loud. I use 10 clearly written expectations that are somewhat gray, which can prove difficult for young students who are still seeing things through a dualistic lens. It works out in the end, though, because it develops into a strong educational moment. I’ll have to break down the more abstract concepts (such as, “Tell the stories no one else can,” which centers around diversity in programming) to younger students, which sparks good conversation and critical thinking.
Note Taking and Structure These new initiatives will need strong note taking on my part to be effective. The heightened need for clear notes means I had to rethink how I transcribed meetings. I currently popcorn between in-depth note taking in a basic spiral notebook and not writing anything down at all. That’s not a very consistent process. I currently use a spiral notebook for on-site observations that I turn into feedback for students. One of my winter break projects was the development of a worksheet that directs me intentionally toward certain topics for a specific student. For example: If I have a student who struggles with confrontation, then I might have that listed on each worksheet so I am reminded to bring up this topic in the context of that week’s events. Using the notes will force me to be more consistent with note taking and reminds me of the bigger goal at the end of the semester.
West Wing Meetings This is not a new concept. In fact, it is borrowed from the popular TV show. However, it is one I don’t use often enough. Walking with a student has proved incredibly useful – in my experience it’s been most useful with men – when discussing life. It pulls you away from the comfort of your office and gets blood flowing. I still struggle with not being able to take any notes at all during a walk. I could always bring along a pad of paper or cell phone, but the beauty of the West Wing-style meetings is you’re moving around, which lets you speak more openly, and in those situations, I want to be actively listening as deeply as possible.
I tried this for the first time during the summer of 2013 with the (now) SPB past president. I‘ll strive to continue this practice with future presidents by spending the summer working on a co-written article, even extending the opportunity to other board members if they want to take on the challenge. This is a great chance to ask a student leader to think critically, work on writing skills, and add a great line to their résumé: “published.”
Student activities is a gold mine for leadership development, including soft and hard skills, and I want to keep testing ways to increase my advising impact. I’ve implemented half of these initiatives and each contributes to the overall goal in different ways (life stories have significantly increased early relationship building with new students, while reflection books are better accepted by long-time student leaders). Once I have implemented all of these measures, I hope to see an overall shift in our students toward heightened awareness and interest in their leadership development. My goal is to put the development in students’ hands and I will keep trying different approaches until I find the right blend to make this happen with our students. The ideas I include here may or may not be new to you. If you use any of these concepts in your work as an advisor, I would love to hear how it’s worked out for you! Connect with me on Twitter (@StevenHarowitz) or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Let’s start a conversation.
Colleague Check-ins Washington University gets major points in my opinion for its collaborative nature. It’s not unusual to call Residential College Directors or Academic Advisors to discuss an issue with a student if one arises. My goal this year is to stay in contact with colleagues to discuss general student development rather then just crisis management. I want to see the whole student, rather than just one aspect.
Designed Impact Reports “How I can empower students to take control of their own development?” I ponder this question often. It’s a mindset I see evidenced throughout Washington University, that of putting more and more ownership in students’ hands (even if there are stumbles, this charge keeps pushing forward). My thinking is, if I bring development to life, students might be more apt to work towards goals, not only organizationally, but also personally, in their leadership education. I want students to walk away from our usually yearlong advising relationship with information on where they started, the development they experienced, where they are in the present, and ways they can continue their development. This can come together from one-on-one notes, campus partner surveys, pre- and post-NACA® event participation assessment, StengthsQuest\ Meyers-Briggs\True Colors assessments, and any other areas of feedback I provide to the students. The final product of this report is something I think it’s important not to neglect. It’s one thing if I provide a Word document of information, but it’s quite another if I give them a booklet with graphs, charts and other visualized data. If I’m using my time to build a report, then I want to create something students will use and be proud to show off.
About the Author Steven Harowitz is Coordinator of Student Involvement and Leadership at Washington University in St. Louis (MO) where he advises the Social Programming Board and
the Student Media Community. He previously served as Graduate Assistant to Carolina Productions at the University of South Carolina, where he earned a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Central Florida. He has previously written/co-written four articles for Campus Activities Programming®. He is a past Social Media Coordinator for NASPA’s Student Leadership Programs Knowledge Community and was named Tech Geek of the Quarter for its Technology Knowledge Community in September of 2011. He received Newcomer of the Year for 2013 honors from the Washington University Student Union.
STUDENT ACTIVITIES IS A GOLD MINE FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING SOFT AND HARD SKILLS, AND I WANT TO KEEP TESTING WAYS TO INCREASE MY ADVISING IMPACT. I’VE IMPLEMENTED HALF OF THESE INITIATIVES AND EACH CONTRIBUTES TO THE OVERALL GOAL IN DIFFERENT WAYS. 14
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SAVE THE DATE Enhance your professional development skills this spring and summer with these upcoming institutes!
International Experiential Learning Institute
Mark your calendars for this institute where you will learn how student engagement can be supported through experiential learning. May 21-23, 2014 Memorial University St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
Student Organizations Institute
The NACA®/ASCA/NIRSA/ACUI Student Organizations Institute (SOI) will offer higher education professionals and student organization advisors the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the principles related to advising, risk management, student conduct and more! June 25-27, 2014 Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO
National Leadership Symposium
Attend this professional development experience designed for faculty members, student affairs professionals, and other educators involved with promoting leadership education at colleges and universities. July 14-17, 2014 University of Tampa For more information on these institutes and others hosted by NACA, visit www.naca.org/Events/Pages/SummerInstitutes.aspx
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Programming Advisors: Balancing By
Student Leadership Development Needs with
TUDENT ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMS are very important to many college campuses nationwide. Universities frequently emphasize the opportunities students have to transform themselves throughout their college years. Many of those opportunities involve co-curricular programming, which provides a means for students to grow and learn outside the classroom while simultaneously promoting the ideal of interactive and engaging campus atmospheres. Student activities occur in many areas within higher education, and student programming boards are often the primary planning resource for campus activities. Considering students serving on such boards are the eyes and ears for their peers with regards to their programming interests, this established model is well understood. Typically, the programming board has an advisor who is usually an employee of the institution, although sometimes it may be a willing volunteer. Dependent upon the university, the campus activities board and its advisor are responsible for producing social programming that will help to enrich the lives of students. Concurrently, students on the board have the potential to benefit most. Being directly responsible for brainstorming ideas, forming a committee, marketing, planning, budgeting and carrying out events provide insights that can be transferred to many everyday jobs. This is why many companies are interested in students who were involved outside the classroom while in college. “Engagement with non-academic pursuits is not only beneficial to student development, but is known to be highly valued by employers ... by demonstrating
Wayne State University (MI)
Institutional Programming Goals to students that we view these activities as equally important to academic study, we encourage participation (Andrews, 2013, para. 8).” Students on campus programming boards can be exposed to tremendous leadership progression. However, depending on institutional goals advisors may be striving to meet, are they inhibiting or enhancing this development?
Balancing Institutional Goals and Student Development Institutions are driven by their respective missions and visions, so there is no single best way to host programs or advise groups. Some universities allow for students to fully embrace the planning role in campus activities while others prefer more advisor-oriented planning. Regardless, advisors often find themselves balancing spending adequate time working to enhance the leadership skills of the student programming board versus spending immense amounts of time to ensure guaranteed success of the co-curricular programs for the university. Too often, students are receiving the short end of the deal, but because the programs are continuously successful, the outlook doesn’t seem so. Having successful programs to boast upon is important for many universities, whether or not this is publicly acknowledged. University administrators often associate student programming with the advisor, as it is often included in their job description, even though it really should be the students who deserve the credit of doing the work (Enser, 2012). Consequently, advisors feel pressure to produce successful MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
attendance at events while making sure event coordination is in order. For many, it is easier to take care of these details on their own versus empowering and trusting the students to do so. In order for student engagement to truly impact students, they must invest psychosocial and physical energy; the level at which a student develops from their involvement is directly proportional to the extent at which they are involved with regard to quality and quantity (Astin, 1999). The more advisors unconsciously remove students from core responsibilities while serving on a programming board, the less development they incur. Programming advisors are student affairs professionals, and helping students to grow into well-developed citizens of society is a large part of why we exist. The extra time it takes to teach and empower students in enhancing core skillsets is more crucial and true to our profession than experiencing one or two programs with unfavorable outcomes. Student activities has the benefit of encompassing multiple dynamics of leadership, the majority of which yield transferable skills. “The idea is that leadership – like scientific disciplines, for example – consists of a set of skills, methodologies, and ideas that can be taught. The difference is that unlike, say, biology, leadership should inform all aspects of life” (Greenwald, 2010, para. 2). Advisors have the ability to capitalize on the numerous teachable moments student programming provides. As long as students remain the focal objective of enhancement, both they and the institution will benefit.
Key Strategies for Advisors There are key strategies advisors can utilize to ensure balance between student learning and growth and successful campus programming. One strategy is determining the needs of the programming board while figuring out the best advising style for them. Some campuses have fully functioning, and well established, boards that may work best with more of a hands-off advisor. At other universities, however, the boards may be struggling to establish their identity as an organization and may need more of a hands-on approach. Then, of course, there are those that fall in between. In any of these scenarios, the focus should be on maintaining, or evolving, the students’ abilities. As confidence and understanding grows within the student leaders, the success of the activities they produce will become a natural byproduct. Regardless of an individual’s advising style, ultimately they must remember to be a presence; it does not entail attending every meeting or function, but allowing students to witness their advisor at the more important programs and knowing, overall, that they are supported (Enser, 2012). Another strategy to focusing on student engagement is determining the individual relationship type between the board and the advisor. This may change as the students comprising the board change, but this establishes a roles and expectations. dvisors view themselves in a variety of ways, in regards to their A relationship with their students. Several identified that they serve as mentors, providing advice and assistance when necessary, as well as allowing students to make their own decisions – and mistakes – with ample time to reflect and make changes. Others used terms such as “cheerleader” or “supporter,” to indicate that they try, as much as possible, to support students’ unique ideas and new opportunities for programs. Not all events and programs will be successful, and these advisors recognize the implicit value in learning from failure (Feroglia, 2011, pg. 6).
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Providing advice and assistance and being willing to mentor are fundamental components of being an advisor. As Feroglia mentioned, allowing students to make their own decisions, whether good or bad, is an integral part to their development. There are elements of learning that are enriched when something doesn’t go as planned. The level of critical thinking, mapping of strategies, and delegation of tasks as a team are all skills and practices many employers desire in qualified candidates. Lastly, clear communication of responsibilities and expectations will help to offset stress upon campus activities advisors. Determining who is responsible for which operations between the group and the advisor is crucial for the planning and coordinating of events. Advisors must define prior to planning which tasks belong to students and which are the responsibility of the advisor (Enser, 2012). This simple delegation enables feelings of ownership within students and allows them to produce programs with less direction. Granted, not all students will be able to successfully coordinate a program on the first or second attempt, but with consistent assessment and reinforcement, the necessary skillsets will develop. Professional staff often get captured in managing campus activities and lose focus on the central goal at hand. Guiding and empowering student leaders to direct and operate programs themselves are extremely beneficial to their growth as leaders. It is critical that advisors work to overcome the institutional pressures of producing over-the-top co-curricular programs, and balance providing the campus with adequate co-curricular needs via the student programming board. Otherwise, the structure will only potentially hurt the students in the long haul and continue to implement stress on the advisor well beyond expectation. Charge student leaders with doing just that, leading; this grants advisors the ability to pull back and truly engage in the advisory role of students to help them obtain their highest leadership potential.
References Andrews, M. (2013). Why our students need co-curricular, not extra-curricular, activities. The Guardian Higher Education Network. Retrieved from: http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2013/jan/22/ student-development-university-curriculum-design Astin, A., (1999). Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Development, 40(5), 518-529. Enser, J., (2012). Advising student programming boards. The APCA Student Activities Journal, 1-2. Feroglia, A.L. (2011). Best practices for student organization advising: an evaluation. Retrieved from: http://trainsandsunsets.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/ ardith-feroglia-student-organization-advising-findings.pdf Greenwald, R. (2010). Today’s students need leadership training like never before. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from: http://chronicle.com/article/Todays-Students-Need/125604/
About the Author Eboni Turnbow is Coordinator of Student Life,
Campus Activities and Student Involvement and Student Conduct Officer at Wayne State University (MI). She previously served as Assistant Living Center Director and Fraternity Advisor in Student Life at Grand Valley State University (MI). She currently serves as President of the Michigan College Personnel Association, a division of the American College Personnel Association, and as Second Vice President and Graduate Advisor for the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.-Beta Omicron Zeta Chapter. 17
Building Institutional Bridges with Large-Scale Collaborative Programming— The Triad College Music Festival By Steven A. Moran Guilford College (NC) and Jeff Lail University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Students await the beginning of performances during the 2013 Triad College Music Festival. Photo by Emma Barker, UNCG.
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Kendrick Lamar, the students’ choice, headlined the Triad College Music Festival in 2013. Photo by Emma Barker, UNCG.
In an era of increasingly tight budgets, institutions of higher education are consistently looking for new opportunities to enhance fiscal efficiency. On a macro institutional scale, this often includes departmental restructuring, tapping into new revenue streams, and administrative prioritization. Student activities departments must also assist in this effort. As campus activities professionals, we should all strive to help create the most cost-effective and exciting engagement opportunities for our campuses, whether it is through Block Booking at NACA® conferences, developing relationships with local talent, or finding cooperative programming opportunities to stretch the budget. A relatively unique way to enhance efficiency is through large-scale collaboration in activities programming.
History and Structure One example of this kind of collaborative programming being successful is the Triad College Music Festival (the Piedmont Triad region includes the cities of Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem, NC). In the spring of 2011, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) started to explore the idea of regional partnerships. The administration at this institution was championing efforts MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
to collaborate both internally and externally in the face of statewide budget reductions. In this vein, the activities office started looking for opportunities to build relationships with other area schools. UNCG Assistant Director of Campus Programs Jeff Lail and members of the programming board went over to North Carolina A&T University to discuss possible resource sharing opportunities. The two parties realized during the midst of this conversation that they both hosted a spring concert around the same time and both institutions were hoping to grow their respective concerts. Unable to marshal the resources separately, they came up with the idea for a Triad College Music Festival (TCMF). The inaugural concert was held in the spring of 2012 as a partnership between the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T University, only. The headlining act was J. Cole, who was purchased in a package with Big KRIT as an opener. The schools also elected to add a festival element, with five lesser-known acts on a side stage. What seemed to be initially a partnership between these two institutions set a precedent for greater regional involvement in future years.
The successful initial effort led the student activities leadership teams at these two institutions to try to further expand their programming network. In the summer of 2012, the TCMF group reached out to the activities departments at Greensboro College and Guilford College. By adding two small liberal arts institutions to the team, the diversity of the partnership was further increased and the resource pool was strengthened. As the number of institutions involved with the process expanded, the need for a clear structure to program such an event became evident. We struggled with the decisionmaking process early in that second year as a result of having too many voices in the room. Each college and university delegated a maximum of three staff representatives and three student representatives in an effort to address this issue. We recognized it was important to have diverse voices. At the same time, we realized it was important to keep the number of participants manageable and trust the representatives to provide a fair voice for their student populations. In addition to our own programming knowledge and skills, we brought in a professional agent to help facilitate the planning. Starting each August, monthly meetings occur with the agent/promoter, Tony Williams from Diamond Life Concerts. Williams keeps the team up to date on new talent, concert routing, and other logistical concerns. He was selected at the start of the TCMF process because of his positive work with North Carolina A&T University as their promoter for Aggie Homecoming. We suggest working with a trusted associate whenever possible to help facilitate a complicated collaborative project. Consistent access to such a resource, with a focus on large-scale shows and higher-dollar talent, might not be feasible for a smaller institution. As a result of this partnership, we are able to create this opportunity for our students. As the year progresses, all parties are involved in the contracting and budgeting process to ensure transparency and equality. This includes the setting of ticket prices, negotiation of all festival costs, and the financial reconciliation process after the show. This open sharing of information ensures both fiscal responsibility and an egalitarian process.
Reasoning Beyond the obvious value of sharing financial and staff resources, it is important to highlight some of the other reasons for institutional commitment to this kind of largescale programming. The four partnering institutions that currently make up the TCMF group are very diverse. UNCG is a public, state university with an enrollment of approximately 17,000; NC A&T is a public, historically black state university with an enrollment of approximately 10,000; Greensboro College is a small private, Methodist-affiliated liberal arts college; and Guilford College is small, private, Quaker-affiliated liberal arts college. The two private institutions have less than 4,000 students combined. Had it not been for this need of collaboration, these four very different institutions may have never had the opportunity to partner. This connection creates more than an exciting concert for the student populations. The festival also provides a unique and powerful learning opportunity for the programming boards. By hosting monthly planning meetings that rotate between the colleges and universities, our students have 20
had the chance to visit different institutional types, interact with diverse student leadership, and work to understand the distinct strengths and challenges that each programming board has at their respective school. We believe that this kind of experiential learning is an invaluable part of this collaborative experience Another significant benefit of this event has been the opportunity for our student leaders to foster relationships with the greater Greensboro community, as a whole. We hope to create opportunities for our students to interact with leaders and to network for future career opportunities by creating a festival that engages the city. By hosting the event at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, the major concert venue in the area, we create purposeful interaction with business leaders in an effort to strengthen our studentsâ€™ ties to the area post graduation.
Challenges With any elaborate endeavor, there are certain challenges that emerge. The Triad College Music Festival is no exception. The most important lesson from this experience has been the value of respectful communication and the development of a truly shared partnership in the collaboration. By working from this basic platform, we have been able to address issues and move forward from them with positive results. A major challenge faced from the very beginning of the festival was how to create that sense of shared buy-in despite vastly different levels of resources. We wanted to create an environment where each student voice in the planning was heard equally, despite the fact that an institution the size of UNCG was able to contribute five times the financial resources of Guilford College to the 2013 show. In order to combat this disparity, the student affairs practitioners at each institution agreed from the start that all participants would have an equal say in the selection of talent, the planning of logistics, and the marketing of the event. By making this commitment, it made it easier for the small college partners to gain institutional support for their involvement in the collaboration. Another challenge has been the development of a musical line-up that will cater to the diverse student populations. For the last two shows, we have been fortunate to have hip-hop/ rap performers who were popular enough regionally to excite all of the students involved. As programming board advisors, we realize this will not always be the case. Finding the right blend between musical genres has been an area where we have really had to trust the ground rules of the process and work to compromise when possible. This will hold true even more in the foreseeable future as we hope to add further partners to the TCMF event. A final challenge we did not foresee in the initial planning was the staggered spring semester schedules of the partnering institutions. When working as an individual institution, it is easy to plan around finals week, major academic and athletic events, or other college traditions. When working with four very different schools, these scheduling issues become inherently more complex. In order to get the performer all of the students wanted in 2013 (Kendrick Lamar), we were forced to go with a later April date. Greensboro College has their finals earlier than the other three schools and they were forced to withdraw from the process. MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMINGÂŽ
Fortunately, effective communications between administrative teams has kept all participants engaged and Greensboro College is involved with planning the festival for 2013-14. It is important to make sure that administrators from your campus activities board advisor to the vice chancellor of student affairs are all understanding of and committed to the event-planning process. This can help mitigate some of the logistical hurdles that come with this kind of programming.
Future Steps Despite these challenges, the first two years of the Triad College Music Festival have largely been successful. This has been true both with concert attendance numbers and positive social media engagement. In order to further improve the event, we have looked at a number of next steps to enhance regional collaboration In future years, the partners in the TCMF event hope to build increased engagement from the Triad Region, both on an institutional and on a greater community level. We have reached out to schools in the area, including cities such as High Point and Winston Salem. In order to bring in the best talent in future years, building our financial resource pool is critical. While we recognize there are logistical challenges to greater collaboration, most significantly the increased distance between partnering institutions, we believe that the value of increased financial support and learning opportunities outweigh the 30-minute drive time between potential partner schools. For collaboration to be successful on such a large scale, creative solutions will be necessary. Rotating venue sites and utilizing public transportation services are possible ideas that can help us bridge geographical gaps. To enhance the event, we also will need to develop stronger community relationships. This is important for any institution looking to plan a festival with many moving parts. We hope to partner with city developmental organizations such as Opportunity Greensboro to weave the event into the fabric of the city. Continuing to grow the festival will require great support. Building these relationships has an added fringe benefit of connecting our students to the larger urban community, breaking down “institutional bubbles” that often occur on residential campuses. Having had success with the Triad College Music Festival, we have discussed further opportunities to create connections through additional programming. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has worked to establish a Triad Activities Group. The goal of this organization is to build upon the TCMF and NACA® Block Booking. We plan to look at other opportunities to collaborate through large-scale event planning. One idea proposed for the future has been a haunted Elm Street event on Halloween. Taking place in downtown Greensboro, it would have institutions of higher education partner with local business to create an exciting new event for students to attend. We hope the successes and challenges of the TCMF will provide a valuable template for this new area programming model.
Students respond to Kendrick Lamar’s performance by waving lighted cell phones above their heads at the 2013 Triad College Music Festival. Photo by Emma Barker, UNCG. collaborative event-planning process, it is important to set strong ground rules, but be flexible around the organizational challenges and concerns that arise. Inevitably, there will be tensions and mistakes along the way, but the value of increased financial resources and building strong relationships with other schools far outweighs any risk that might be involved. We challenge you to look for your own regional collaboration opportunities. Whether it is a major concert or perhaps just a variety show that features talent from both colleges, we can get far more than financial savings when we are willing to work together.
About the Authors Steven A. Moran is Assistant Director for Student Leadership and Engagement at Guilford College (NC). He previously served
as a graduate assistant in Campus Activities & Student Engagement at the University of Maine-Orono, where he earned a master’s degree in higher education and a bachelor’s degree in political science. Active in NACA, he most recently served as the Awards Selection Coordinator for NACA® South. He first wrote for Campus Activities Programming® magazine in 2010, when he submitted an article on student over-involvement. In 2009, he received the 2009 Richard F. Stevens Outstanding Graduate Student Award for NASPA Region I for the State of Maine. Jeff Lail advises the Campus Activities
Board and manages student group recognition and registration at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He’s been working in student unions since 2007, serving at North Carolina State University, The College of New Jersey and UNCG. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry form Campbell University (NC) and a master’s degree in higher education from North Carolina State University.
As resources continue to be scarce, and institutions are asked to do more with less, these programming partnerships will become even more critical. When developing any MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
Setting Yourself Up for Success through Collaborations By Jessica Wilson, MBA Valparaiso University (IN)
TUDENT PROGRAMMING BOARDS AND CAMPUS DEPARTMENTS are continuously encouraged to collaborate on projects and events. Whether we chalk this up to being asked to “do more with less” or as an opportunity to work with new people, there are several advantages of collaborating with others if you know how to manage the relationships. Through collaboration, we can create a more diverse group with differing opinions and have the opportunity to use those perspectives to create a more interesting event. Collaborations can also lead to great new friendships and to generating new ideas and the use of new resources. They also help improve the quality of events by providing more funding and hands available to make them run smoothly. The key to making a collaboration work is managing the relationship
so that all parties feel valued. Effective communication is a crucial part of the process and can make or break your collaboration experience. To help ensure you are using collaborative efforts to your advantage, I’d like to offer you some advice on defining your collaborative relationships, knowing your partners in collaboration and setting yourself up for success.
Defining Your Relationship: Partnerships, Co-sponsorships and Sponsors There are three basic relationships when it comes to collaborating: partnerships, co-sponsorships and sponsors. Managing each of these should be handled differently from the others, so here are a few tips to remember: MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
Partnerships Partnerships are formed when groups or organizations work together to bring attention to an idea, cause or a number of events with similar goals. Each organization or group may be offering its own event, but they are working together to promote a series of like-events sponsored by other organizations. The collaboration here is more about publicity and advertising than about the events, themselves. I recommend each group have at least one representative help with the creation and distribution of the promotional materials so that images and messages are the same. This can also help to ensure that all event details are correct. For example, a group of service-minded organizations may create a partnership to promote a weeklong push calling students to serve during Earth Week. In this type of collaboration, each group hosts an event on a different day, but they work together to promote all the week’s events. The types of service or the non-profit they are supporting can be different as long as there is a common theme among all the individual events. The advantage to this is that each group is helping to promote each other’s events. This can lead to more people hearing about all the events because each group’s members are sharing the information with their circle of friends. Because each group is comprised of different people, it is safe to say that the friends reached would be different, as well.
Co-sponsorships Co-sponsorships are formed between groups working together to create an event where each group shares in its ownership and success. These kinds of collaborations require a great deal of teamwork to ensure all the groups involved contribute to the development, promotion and execution of the event. Although most co-sponsorships will split the responsibilities and tasks evenly, it is crucial that each group be actively communicating all details of the event with one another. Typically, co-sponsorships are harder to manage because of this. Please note that because each group involved has something at stake (time, funding, etc.), it is important that expectations of each group are set clearly and early on. I recommend putting them into writing. This will help by giving each group something to which to refer later should questions about responsibilities arise. An example of this type of collaboration would be an event we offer here at Valparaiso called Rock the ARC. This event is put together by our programming council (UPC), Counseling Center, Rec Sports and Dining Services. UPC is in charge of the inflatables, publicity, logistics and music for the event. The Counseling Center offers a series of do-it-yourself crafts. Rec Sports puts together small tournaments, open swim and free Zumba classes. Lastly, Dining Services offers drinks and healthy snacks. Each group is responsible for funding, staffing and set-up and take-down of their activities. Although each group has its own tasks, the logistics of the event require a great deal of communication so that everyone has the space and resources they need to make their contribution to the event successful. Like partnerships, it also helps to share everyone’s details so that promotion is accurate and recognizes the contributions of all parties. Co-sponsorships should strive to be seamless. MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
Sponsors Sponsors are groups, departments or businesses that are contributing something to an event but do not take a particular interest in the planning and execution of it. These groups want the event to be successful, of course, but are not there to offer labor or other direct involvement. Typically, sponsors are the people donating money or resources to an event or project. Think businesses or campus departments chipping in to sponsor shirts or food for an event. Someone else is managing the event; they are simply adding an element to it that otherwise would not have been available. This type of collaboration still requires clear communication, but is more about the presentation and evaluation of the event to the sponsor. You must have a certain level of preparedness to seek a sponsor. They want to know what it is exactly that they are putting their resources into and want to know details such as the anticipated number of attendees at the event. Seeking a sponsor should be done well in advance, but requires a great deal of organization, so be prepared.
Knowing Your Partners in Collaboration Everyone you work with has different opinions, objectives and expectations. It is important to acknowledge those differences and to capitalize on them when you can. Here are a few types of people or groups you may need to work with and some things to remember to ensure your relationships with them will be successful.
University Departments University departments, although familiar with college students and their schedules, will expect a certain level of professionalism that requires well-considered spending, clear communication and an evaluation of the event or project once completed. They may have very direct goals and ideas, especially if they are contributing funding to the event. They have a set budget, which they must justify, so they want to spend wisely. They need to be kept in the loop regarding changes and challenges and should be asked for feedback and suggestions because they have knowledge of campus resources and capabilities.
Local Businesses Local businesses, although far less familiar with college lives and schedules, can still be great collaborators. While some may be very interested in helping with your event, others will have plenty of other opportunities to work with campus or other local groups to promote their businesses. You need to provide reasons why working with your organization on a project will benefit them. This needs to be a professional relationship that is concise and meets all deadlines and discussed expectations. They have a business to run and deserve clear and timely communication. Remember that they will not want to work with you again if they feel you are taking advantage of them or that you do not value the relationship.
Student Organizations Other student organizations, like yours, have very busy schedules and procrastination is something you need to combat. Having deadlines for tasks and sticking to them is 23
very important. Communicating and checking in with one another are also crucial. Everyone needs to participate in order to actually put an event together correctly. Remember, too, that how your organization operates may not be how another organization operates, so setting clear expectations is important to keep everyone on the same page. No one organization should be dominating another. That kind of relationship will lead to a lot of headaches and drama, and no one has time for that.
Setting Yourself Up for Success To set yourself up for success, start by creating a collaboration management system within your organization. Talk about how you want to handle collaborations, what kinds of requirements you want to have in place, the budget you have available, and so on. Once you have had this discussion and have made some decisions, create a collaboration interest form and post the details on how it will work so that others may see it. Keep the form basic and versatile so that you can use it when you are seeking others to work with, as well as when others want to work with you. I recommend creating a form that has some basic information on it describing why that group would like to work with your organization or vice versa. This form should include questions about the basics of the request (Who is the contact person? For what event? When will the event be held? And who else is involved?), what they are looking for (funding, resources, manpower, publicity, etc.), and a general description of why they are seeking your organization’s help. Be sure to establish a timeline for the form’s review process. This will help the organization filling out the form to understand how quickly they can expect a response and will set a good precedent for the relationship later on should the form be approved. For example, perhaps your organization will review all forms at its bi-weekly meeting and put the information up to vote with its membership. Should the request pass, the organization will select one member to run point with the collaborating organization and will set up an expectations meetings with the contact listed on the form within two weeks. Should the request be denied, the organization will notify the group immediately after the meeting. Remember that approving their form means agreeing to work with them in at least most of the capacity they are requesting. You can always make a counter offer to help in ways other than what was originally requested. However, be sure that is very clear when you contact the group. Do not feel as if compromising with another group is a bad thing. Flexibility can be very helpful in creating a great collaboration. After the form has been accepted by both parties, have your point person set a meeting with the other group’s point person to talk about expectations for each group. Be clear about what you are and are not willing to do for the event and write it all down (or type it as you go). Discuss the goal of the event, the budgets, and who will be taking on responsibility for each area of work involved. Discuss creating a collaborative workspace (like a Google Spreadsheet) to keep track of progress and create a communication plan for how often you will update each other and how quickly you expect responses to emails. 24
You should also meet several times leading up to the event. Do not let your expectations meeting be the only time you see each other face to face. Details can change and challenges often present themselves after planning has begun for a project or event and you need to keep each other aware of those things. You will also need to put together marketing and other promotions, event logistics for who will handle things like set-up for the event, running the event, cleaning up the event and taking everything down. You should also talk about how you will evaluate the success of the event and who should be heading up that task. The evaluation should include how the attendees felt about the event, as well as an evaluation of the collaboration, itself. When evaluating the collaboration, remember that there will always be things that could have been better or that you might change in the future if you were to produce the event again. Avoid pointing fingers or placing blame. Be honest, but not overly critical. Stay professional and remember that you do not want to get a bad reputation due to something that was ultimately out of your control. Remember to also talk about the things you felt went well and to congratulate others on their good work, even if the overall event was not successful. Collaborations often provide great learning opportunities. Even when collaborative events run smoothly, there are plenty of things you can take away from the work put into them. Consider writing thank-you cards to those with whom you have collaborated, even if the collaboration was not the best experience you could have had. Any time someone has worked with you, they offered time and effort and you should give thanks in return. Once you have evaluated the experience, review your process for accepting collaboration forms. Maybe there is something you wish you would have known before accepting the relationship, maybe you need to redefine your requirements, and so on. Do not be afraid to make adjustment to improve your experiences in the future.
Enjoy Your Collaborative Success! Every university is a little different and so is every organization. My recommendations may work better for some institutions and organizations than others. You might find things I’ve shared that you love and cannot wait to try, or you might decide you need to tweak a few aspects so they work for your group. Just remember that collaborations can be a very positive experience if you put in the work to manage the relationship.
About the Author Jessica Wilson has served as Assistant Director of Student Activities at Valparaiso University (IN) since 2011. She
holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Valparaiso University and a master’s degree in business administration from Purdue University North Central (IN).
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Communicate Across the Board for Programming Success By Claudia Radke Stetson University (FL)
OST PROBLEMS ON ANY STUDENT-LED PROGRAMMING BOARD CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE QUALITY OF COMMUNICATION INSIDE OR OUTSIDE OF THE BOARD. Having good communication helps your team be more efficient, maximize your resources and promote camaraderie among members. It also helps foster more vibrancy on your campus, building a sense of community and creating partnerships and friends.
Campuses are inevitably part of their surrounding communities. Staying connected to your local downtown or main street association can lead to mutually beneficial outcomes, such as sponsorships and donations for your events. For events you want to promote to an audience beyond the student population, reach out to your alumni office and nearby institutions. If you work with other institutions, be sure to promote any of their events that are similar to your own. Make it a fair trade and you will forge a partnership that will last longer than your event. Another way to involve the community and friends of the institution is to utilize the institutional event calendar. Most schools have a public calendar that includes events open to the public and that are accessible to all. This is a great, costeffective way to promote an event beyond your campus to an audience that already has an interest in it. Keep in mind that it is not possible to maintain all communication avenues available to you; this is one reason to cultivate partnerships with other groups and organizations that are already linked to your target markets.
Social media – everyone’s got it, but how are they using it? As for Facebook, you want to be sure students “like” your page. To accomplish this, you can offer incentives such as offering a prize once a certain number of users have liked the page. If you take photos at events, you might allow access to photos to only those who have liked the page. Also, information on winners, outcomes of events, and additional information can be posted exclusively on your page, helping bring more users to it. Once you have these users engaged with your page, be sure to post upcoming events so they know what is next. Every time you update a Facebook event, it sends a notification to those you’ve invited. Be cautious of over-updating or making other edits to the page, as, over time, frequent updates can come to be ignored. An easy way to remind users of important updates is to add the phrase “-Today” to the end of any notification going out on the actual day of the event. Hashtags have made it even easier to unite various social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr with Facebook. To make it easy for students to promote any event to their friends, provide official hashtags for all your events. Use the event name, your board’s slogan, and include your school name or location. Be creative and consistent so that your hashtags will be unique for your event, audience and team. As always, with each platform you use, be sure to tailor the message to your audience. If a certain group of students uses one platform, speak their language and promote what they are looking for.
External Communication: On Campus
External Communication: Off Campus
Getting someone’s attention can be difficult on a campus inundated with posters, banners, and other various forms of marketing.
* Advisors and Supervisors One way to target your message is to send it through a source that isn’t ignored. Many students have advisors and supervisors on campus; often, these are staff members who are there to promote campus initiatives. Having these key staff members promote your event to students with whom they are in contact can boost your word-of-mouth promotional efforts. 30
* Social Media
As for email, we use it every day, but is it efficient? There are a few rules to follow to make sure you are creating effective email communication. You must be aware of your audience. Is it a board member, a vendor, or an administrator? Be sure to format it with a greeting and an informative body that includes specific information, such as dates and times. Always answer emails within a 48-hour window, even if it is just to let the sender know you received it and will reply as soon as you can. Lastly, you want to use the rule of three to avoid misunderstandings: the message should turn around only three times. Otherwise, you need to call or meet with the other party. MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
Internal Communication Having everyone on your board knowing what is happening is integral to functioning as a group and enhancing awareness of your events. Using a wiki, share drive, or some other form of cloud-based open-source document set-up will give your board the opportunity to share and organize ideas and plans. Facebook groups can also be useful for less detailed plans, reminders, or for collaborators not directly associated with the board. You definitely want to be able to effectively communicate among board members. One way to accomplish this is to set time frames to respond to emails, phone calls and text messages. This way, everyone is aware of the expectation to reply and it is easy to identify communication breakdowns within the board when they occur. At dynamic events, things can change quickly and you want to be able to alert the rest of your team. Cell phones can work, but if you are in a large area or one with questionable coverage, walkie-talkies might be the best option. Another aspect of working as a group involves having weekly or bi-weekly meetings. No one wants to sit in a long meeting that goes nowhere, so you should have goals for each meeting and strive to keep discussion focused on the most pertinent topics. Having everyone present is, of course, your first objective. Choosing a time and place that is free from distraction and during which everyone can attend is crucial. As most students volunteer for their board positions, it can be helpful to offer incentives for attendance and participation. Making your meetings fun is easy if you institute into them themes that might mean something to your board members. Creating an agenda is the best way to stay on track, especially in longer meetings with larger boards. Be sure to print hard copies for members so they can take notes and brainstorm. Begin with a welcome, move into an icebreaker or an energizer, and continue to any announcements members might have that might not pertain to the board. Next, offer a time to review recent events and include any feedback from the student body. Give members a chance to update the group on any ongoing projects and answer any questions. Be sure to end with important reminders and recap what will be happening the following week or at the next meeting. MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
Dividing and assigning tasks within your board can be helpful; sometimes, you need to make time for check-ins to assure things are running smoothly. One-on-one meetings can be very handy in this case. These are usually conducted by advisors or graduate advisors for individual board members or small teams. They can provide time for specialized attention and create an ongoing conversation so that project execution is not overwhelming for anyone. As newer members learn the ropes, the board can reach a greater level of autonomy in planning and executing events.
A Fully Functional Programming Board Keeping these suggestions in mind should help your board become more fully functional and bring a new level of programming to your campus through the events you plan and produce. Author’s note: This article was adapted from the 2012 NACA® South educational session Sending Out an SOS: How to Communicate Across the Board.
About the Author Claudia Radke recently earned a degree in marketing at Stetson University (FL),
where she served as Traditional Events Specialist and President of Hatter Productions. She also served as a Homecoming Committee Liaison, Friends & Family Weekend Event Coordinator, Stetson Outdoor Adventure Recreation Event Coordinator and Triathlon Club Marketing and Event Coordinator. In NACA, she served on a past NACA® South Showcase Selection Committee, as well as an educational session presenter.
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NACA® Summer Leadership Event Share the Disney experience while developing leadership skills. June 19-22, 2014 Walt Disney World® Resort, Florida (FL)
Audience: Student Leaders Focus: Experiential Learning • Leadership Development Peer-to-Peer Training Customer Service and other Employability Skills www.mydisneymeetings.com/naca2014
students in programming L. Thomas Wood IV University of South Carolina
MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING速
NTROVERTS ARE EVERYWHERE! In fact, Susan Cain (2012) found that one-third to one-half of the population is introverted. Although many people define an introvert as someone who is shy and an extrovert as someone who is outgoing, determining if someone is an introvert or an extrovert is dependent on “where [they] get [their] energy from” (Cooper 2013, p. 6). Pannabacker (2012) defines an introvert as someone who “is oriented toward the inner life of thought; they tend to be reserved or cautious [not shy] and find social interaction draining” (p. 3). On the other end of the spectrum, extroverts gain energy from other people through social interactions and lose energy when they are alone (Cooper 2013). It is important to note that there is a spectrum of introversion and extroversion, as it is rare to find someone who is an extreme introvert or extrovert (Cooper 2013). Because extroverts are at their best when they are with other people, their voices are easily heard. We live in a society that praises extroverts and find it odd when someone is quiet and reserved within a group setting. Cain (2013) described this phenomenon as the “Extrovert Ideal, which is that the ideal self is gregarious, alpha, and comfortable in the spotlight” (p. 4). This Extrovert Ideal can make it difficult for more introverted people to find a way to make their voices heard. This theory can prove true in one’s work life and is evident in the field of student affairs and programming. With that in mind, I would like to provide a blueprint for engaging introverts and ensure that their voices are heard when developing programming ideas.
the opportunity to share their ideas with the entire group. Although a more extroverted duo member might speak on behalf of both members, there is a much better chance that he or she will be reflecting the ideas of both, including those of the introverted students. Group organizers also should collect the written materials from individuals and the small groups to ensure all ideas are considered. While allowing introverts an opportunity to voice their needs in smaller groups can be effective, some student programmers are working with larger audiences. In these particular situations, breaking into small groups may not be possible or beneficial. In those cases, using an anonymous texting or voting service is a good way to gather input from the group as a whole while still engaging introverted students. There are many free apps available from sources such as the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store, including i>clicker Go and Class Text Vote, which would allow student programmers to pose questions or polls to an entire group, issue responses, and anonymously broadcast the answers live. While this technique limits open-ended questions, it allows introverted students to participate in program development without fear of being quieted by the more extroverted students. It also is important for student programmers to remain accessible and seek input from the students they represent. Student programmers need to be approachable so students feel comfortable discussing programming ideas through oneon-one conversations or via email.
How to Engage Introverts
Student programmers should embrace and engage extroverts and introverts to ensure the effectiveness of the organization and the programming it offers. Cain (2013, p. 162) suggests, “when it comes time to make group decisions, extroverts would do well to listen to introverts – especially when they see problems ahead.” Break the social norm of groupthink by giving introverts multiple opportunities for contributing programming ideas.
Student programmers need to understand introverts in order to create programming that is inclusive of all students, including both extroverts and introverts. Because the more extroverted students typically will voice their opinions about programming needs and desires, steps need to be taken to identify the wants and needs of introverted students. Rather than asking student groups as a whole about their programming needs, ask students first to sit alone and quietly write down their ideas. This gives all students time to reflect, which allows introverted students to share their ideas. This strategy helps combat the misperception that introverts are engaging in social loafing, defined as when “some [students] tend to sit back and let others do the work” (Cain, 2013, p. 89). This strategy also avoids production blocking, the idea that “only one person can talk or produce an idea at once, while the other members are forced to sit passively” (Cain, 2013, p. 89). Finally, by working silently as individuals, the students are allowed to avoid evaluation apprehension, the “fear of looking stupid in front of one’s peers” (Cain, 2013, p. 89). After the students have had a few minutes of quiet reflection, ask each of them to pair up with another student to share their ideas. Having this one-on-one opportunity to engage with another person is less overwhelming for introverted students than sharing their ideas with the entire group. The partners should be encouraged to share new ideas that emerge from their discussions. Next, have the partners combine with another twosome to share their ideas. Again, this smaller sub-group is a more comfortable venue in which introverted students can voice their ideas. Finally, each duo should have 34
Embrace and Engage All
Because extroverts are at their best when they are with other people, their voices are easily heard. We live in a society that praises extroverts and find it odd when someone is quiet and reserved within a group setting.
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About the Author
Cain, S. (2013). Quiet. New York, NY: Crown Publishers. Cain, S. (2012, February ). Susan Cain: The power of introverts [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/ talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html Cooper, B. B. (2013, August 15). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://blog.bufferapp.com/ introverts-and-extroverts-what-they-are-and-how-to-getalong-with-everyone
L. Thomas Wood IV is a Graduate Assis-
tant for the Office of Parents Programs at the University of South Carolina, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in international students in 2012 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs. He is also a member of the Student Personnel Association on campus.
Fawal, J. (2012, April 13). College and the introvert. USA Today College. Retrieved from http://www. usatodayeducate.com/staging/index.php/blog/ college-and-the-introvert Pannapacker, W. (2012). Screening out the introverts. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/ Screening-Out-the-Introverts/131520/?sid=pm (Editor’s Note: Mention of electronic software vendors in this article does not imply a specific endorsement by the author or NACA.)
MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
Intergroup Leadership as a Spark for Cultural Shift in Student Groups Mackenzie M. Crane
University of South Carolina The key to successfully implementing change in student organizations is uniting diverse groups of students under the banner of the proposed change. Quinn (1996) found that to ensure organizations function smoothly, they must meet their members’ needs and perform the tasks expected of them from the outside world. When either of these expectations is not being met, organizations need to change. Student organizations need to constantly assess whether they are meeting their members’ needs and performing the tasks expected of them. When faced with the need to change to realign with the expectations of their members and society, student leaders often find it challenging to do so, either because the change may be unpopular or because there are too many other pressing tasks requiring their attention. The reality is there is never an ideal time to initiate change in a student group. I would like to share Kanter’s (2009) work on intergroup leadership and provide examples of ways to use it in order to prepare student organizations to initiate a change process. Intergroup leadership refers to the process of people from different, even competing, groups coming together to take on a challenge together. Intergroup leadership serves to push divided groups from a place of tense tolerance to a place of productivity. Leaders can be successful in this process only if they unite their groups under a single purpose (Kanter, 2009). Four of Kanter’s (2009) propositions are vital to helping diverse groups make change happen: Convening Power, Transcendent Values, Future Orientation-Building New Identity, and Interpersonal Norms and Emotional Integration. I will cover these in detail with specific suggestions on how to facilitate them in modern student organizations.
Convening Power Convening power refers to bringing diverse students or student groups together on a common level. The purpose of these gatherings is to initiate dialogue, create common language and inspire collaboration. Individuals should walk away from these experiences understanding how others think (Kanter, 2009). Examples of convening power include a risk management workshop for all of the campus’s fraternity presidents or a seminar on sportsmanship for the intramural volleyball teams. 36
When attempting to foster collaboration, host the gathering in a neutral space, such as in a classroom or at an off-campus site. This keeps any group from having the upper hand by hosting the event on their “home turf.” Further, during the event, the focus must be on each person as an individual, rather than a member of a particular background or advocate for a particular cause. Finally, such events should place all members on an equal playing field. For example, special treatment or attention should not be paid to executive team members. Opinions from lower levels among the groups’ members must be equally encouraged and respected, so that everyone has equal ownership of the change being made.
Transcendent Values People resonate with the “why.” Why does an organization do what it does? Why is change necessary? Why do I even have to be here? In order to be truly productive, people must understand why the tasks they perform are important and, consequently, why their presence is important to the overall mission of the group (Quinn, 1996). To help student members explore the organization’s “why,” student groups should review their mission statements, creeds and other relevant value systems. Using these as a guide, they must identify their core purposes and values. Once identified, the group then needs to evaluate if and how they are serving those purposes, as well as identify activities or attitudes that are incongruent with the group’s mission. It is equally important to look at individuals’ and subgroups’ values and missions to determine how they align with the greater group’s goals. What does Chi Omega’s creed have in common with the Panhellenic creed? Where do Veteran’s Student Union’s goals overlap with Student Government’s goals? Highlighting how subgroups support the greater group honors each smaller unit, while keeping the focus on how each uniquely contributes to the larger movement. Conversely, pointing out how a subgroup negatively impacts the greater group when it makes choices that conflict with the greater group’s ideals establishes the importance of change to everyone. Keeping the language centered on values creates a positive atmosphere that will inspire all members to contribute.
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Future Orientation-Building New Identity For a vision to be successful, it must unite the tasks of today with the goals of tomorrow. To utilize the proposition of future orientation, student leaders must explain how all subgroups will benefit from the proposed change in the future. The challenging part is doing this in a way that honors the individual identities of each smaller group (Kanter, 2009). One way to begin is to discuss the undiscussable (Quinn, 1996). Open the floor for individuals and subgroups to bring up debatable topics within the larger group. Allowing subgroups to offer what they need for the change to be successful for them gives each a way to honor their personal histories in a way that still focuses on the greater good. For example, if the Sustainability Club is struggling with members not fulfilling their commitments, the members who are upset should have the opportunity to come forward and express their feelings. For this to be successful, issues must be presented in a way that focuses on how to make improvements for the future. Instead of laboring on past hurts, club members should be encouraged to explain how they would like things to change in the future. It is important to acknowledge that the change might be painful for some, yet the focus on creating a brighter future emphasizes the importance of the positive outcomes associated with the change. A second tactic for selling the change is to create a “heroic journey” story for the group to aspire to emulate. After discussing what challenges the group might face, the focus turns to asking the group to brainstorm on how to overcome the challenges in a way that is heroic and inspiring. How will a student government campaigning task force respond when they find a candidate breaking campaign rules in the next election? How will the organization react when other students challenge the new changes? This acknowledges that creating deep change can be immensely difficult. However, writing an epic tale of how the group will overcome the challenges makes it easier for students to be heroes when the obstacles actually arise (Quinn, 1996). Finally, another strategy is to rebrand the group’s identity. Student leaders can give gifts highlighting the greater group identity, such as T-shirts bearing the greater group’s name and logo or buttons with the group’s values printed on them. These gifts are a visual reminder of the greater group’s mission, create a feeling of belonging among the members, and celebrate the group’s bright new future.
Interpersonal Norms and Emotional Integration The importance of building emotional ties among a diverse student group cannot be overlooked. The most successful teams are characterized by enthusiasm, cohesion and trust. These positive feelings toward the members of the group and the group’s mission are what push members to keep working for change, even when faced with obstacles. To build this type of feeling in the group, student leaders need to plan gatherings that minimize tensions and maximize positive interactions (Kanter, 2009). The first way student leaders can achieve this is by facilitating group conversations about codes of conduct and group expectations. Include expectations about focusing conversations on seeking solutions rather than passing blame. Also, discuss ways all members can contribute to a culture where everyone’s MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
capacity to contribute is valued. Second, student leaders should provide social opportunities for members to build camaraderie and intimacy. Team-building options include spending a day at a ropes course, group outings to campus-sponsored events, and sharing meals. Student leaders can also facilitate activities that encourage members to share about their personal lives. For example, the “Shoebox Activity” involves asking members to bring one item that is small enough to fit inside a shoebox and has sentimental meaning to them. Beginning with the facilitator, each member shares the item and why the item is significant. This type of selfdisclosure helps members see each other as individuals rather than members of an opposing subgroup. This type of sharing inherently creates trust among group members and sets the stage for setting aside differences and working together.
Next Steps The four propositions discussed above are crucial for the initiation phase of change. Utilizing these four of Kanter’s propositions for intergroup leadership will help members work together to make progress begin. By simultaneously honoring the significance of each subgroup’s personal history and focusing on the greater group’s goals for the future, all parties can have their needs met via the proposed change. Kanter’s (2009) two other propositions, Important Interdependent Tasks, and Inclusiveness and Evenhandedness, should be kept in mind as the group advances from the initiation phase and develops a rhythm. Important Interdependent Tasks refers to breaking the group into smaller teams to complete challenging tasks simultaneously. Assigning important tasks to members conveys the leadership’s trust in the members to contribute their best efforts to ensuring the change is successful. The last proposition, Inclusiveness and Evenhandedness, requires student leaders to treat all members of the group with kindness and respect. By investing in all members of the group, not just members of their own subgroup, the leaders demonstrate that everyone belongs. Capitalizing on Kanter’s (2009) propositions sets student leaders up to initiate and embed meaningful changes into the fabric of their organizations. Further, this results in a culture of shared responsibility, organizational pride and anticipation for greater creativity and growth in the future.
References Kanter, R. (2009). Creating common ground. In T. Pittinsky (Author), Crossing the divide (pp. 73- 86). Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press. Quinn, R.E. (1996). Deep Change. (1st ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
About the Author Mackenzie M. Crane is pursuing a master’s
degree in higher education student affairs at the University of South Carolina, where she serves as a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Undergraduate Research, as well as a Graduate Counselor with Phi Mu Fraternity. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in family and child sciences from Florida State University. 37
INCREASING DIVERSITY, ONE MONTH AT A TIME By
University of South Florida Photos by Tammi Flythe, USF Communications and Marketing Officer
NE DAY LAST SPRING, I was in my office brainstorming new LGBTQ programs for the upcoming year with our marketing assistant. Suddenly, we asked ourselves, “Why don’t we do a LGBT History Month?” This question had never been addressed before on our campus, and the only appropriate answer we came up with was, “Why don’t we?!” At the University of South Florida (USF), we pride ourselves on our diversity and, working in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, we celebrate cultural months throughout the year. This year, we added LGBT History Month to the list. I was passionate about creating LGBT History Month because I believed it would give LGBT students a greater sense of inclusiveness and support. If you work at an institution that is looking to improve and grow its diversity programming, then LGBT History Month events can definitely help you reach a new student demographic.
Establishing Events Planning an entire month full of events seems like a lot of work, and it was, but since it was our first year implementing LGBT History Month, we kept things simple. The month consisted of four signature events: an LGBT History Month Kick-off, a Transgender Panel, I Am An Ally, and an Ally Appreciation Luncheon. All these events were easy to implement, financially feasible, and fun to plan. The Kick-off was a celebration that included USF faculty, staff and students, as well as the Tampa Bay community. At the event, we featured a keynote speaker followed by three student performances. There were also more than 10 LGBT organizations tabling, a photo booth and, of course, food. The Transgender Panel consisted of three individuals who identified as transgender and a physician who specializes in working with transgender adolescents. The panelists each gave brief background about themselves before I asked each of them a few prepared questions. During the last 45 minutes of the event, individuals from the audience asked questions. I Am an Ally was a simple event in which individuals could state why they are an Ally for the LGBT community. Students, faculty and staff could write down their reasons for being an Ally on slips of paper and, after the event, we placed all of them in our office windows. 38
The Ally Appreciation Luncheon was a casual event for anyone who has been Safe Zone certified. The final event of the month, co-sponsored with Career Services, was a presentation called “Coming Out in the Workplace.” In the presentation, we discussed workplace culture, how to assess your workplace, and steps to come out in your workplace. In addition, we featured a panel whose members discussed their experiences with coming out in the workplace. Even though each event had multiple components, it was easy to break down into manageable segments so it could be easily executed.
Collaboration and Community Outreach One reason I wanted to create LGBT History Month was to enhance a sense of community, not just for the LGBT community at USF, but for members of the greater Tampa Bay community, as well. In order to do this, I first had to establish relationships with individuals and organizations within the area. I first started with the connections I already had, which included my friends at PFLAG (Parents, Friends, and Family of Lesbians and Gays). I started going to PFLAG meetings my first semester of graduate school so I could become better connected to the community. John, President of the Tampa chapter of PFLAG, was able to provide me with a list of contacts of other LGBT organizations in the area. Using this list, I was able to build connections between USF and individuals who were part of the Tampa Bay LGBT community. Consequently, multiple organizations tabled at our LGBT History Month Kick-Off, including PFLAG, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network), The Spring (an organization working to prevent domestic violence), and the Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. LGBT History Month would not have been successful without input from USF students. One of our past PRIDE Alliance Presidents was able to provide me information about Joe Saunders, the first openly gay lawmaker in Florida and the Dist. 49 Representative. I invited him to be our keynote speaker for our Kick-off and he accepted. Adding Rep. Saunders to our lineup was extremely helpful, because his life history is also LGBT history. Accordingly, his message was MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
Spectators watch student performances at the USF LGBT History Month Kick-off.
powerful and deeply touched the audience. Having Rep. Saunders deliver the keynote also benefitted our budget because we didn’t need to contract a professional speaker and he lived only an hour away, close enough to drive to the event. Besides Rep. Saunders, another local politician contributed to the success of the Kick-off. I was fortunate to meet Congresswoman Kathy Castor’s assistant when she attended our LGBT & Ally Ice Cream Social during our Week of Welcome. After meeting her I, contacted Congresswoman Castor’s office about our LGBT History Month events. While she was not able to attend the Kick-off, she wrote a supportive letter that her assistant delivered at the event. USF students also contributed to the Kick-off in other ways. Our Student Government President, also the first openly gay male to hold that position, introduced our keynote speaker. Our goal was to have a prominent USF figure speak at the event and we knew he was the ideal candidate because he is also a student. A few weeks before the Kick-off, I attended a PRIDE Alliance meeting and shared information about all upcoming events. I also asked if any students were interested in performing at the Kick-off. As a result, we were able to include three student performances. The first was a spoken word piece titled “History.” Two other students sang and played the piano and guitar, performing Mary Lambert’s MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
“She Keeps Me Warm” and Lady GaGa’s “Born This Way.” All of these performances gave great momentum to the Kickoff and provided additional ways to share the LGBT History Month message.
Marketing Our marketing assistant designed the logo for LGBT History Month. We wanted to keep the design clean and simple, yet catch people’s eye. He incorporated the pink triangle, which symbolizes gay rights, and our mascot (the bull) into the logo. Once the design was finalized, we created marketing materials. Our biggest marketing tools were our Facebook page and a calendar of events, which included the
University of South Florida Student Government President William Warmke speaks at the USF LGBT History Month Kick-off.
date and time of, as well as information about, all our LGBT History Month events. Because most of the events were open to the public, we promoted them on and off campus. We utilized on-campus offices to post flyers and spread the word about them. We informed the community at large about the events through our Facebook event page. We created only one Facebook event for the whole month so people could get all the information in one place. As a result of promoting LGBT History Month in the community and via campus organizations, ultimately more than 5,000 people were invited to our celebrations. At each of the LGBT History Month events, we marketed the next one on the schedule and that helped attendance grow throughout the month.
Execution and Support When October arrived, we were ready for LGBT History Month. Planning it was actually the most difficult aspect of creating this new initiative. Putting it into action was fairly easy. If you pursue such a program, you must make sure you have plenty of support – not only support and resources from your office, but that of volunteers. The major event of the month was the Kick-off, which was 90 minutes long. The setup consisted of decorating, picking up food, making sure all the performers had done their sound check, getting the photo booth setup, and ensuring all the tabling organizations were at the correct tables. I called on students and our Safe Zone Trainers to volunteer for the Kick-off. We did not need any volunteers for the Transgender Panel. I simply bought refreshments and placed them in the back of the room before the panel started. The panelists were the only individuals I needed – other than the audience. I created questions to get the panel started and then opened the floor to the audience. During I Am An Ally, I reached out to other student affairs offices to help run the tables. More than 20 individuals each contributed 30 minutes to an hour of their day to assist with the event. I had reserved four tables in the atrium of our student union and the volunteers simply explained to students what we were doing. To create interest, we displayed posters that asked, “Why are you an LGBT Ally?” We also included music and a photo booth to attract more people. The Ally Appreciation Luncheon was also easy to implement. We had the event catered, but it was a self-serve and come-and-go-as-you-please event, so all we had to do was decorate, create an awesome music playlist, and clean up afterwards.
Sustainability One of the most difficult things about being a graduate student creating a new initiative is making sure it can be sustained once you complete your degree. After our inaugural LGBT History Month, we created an in-depth transition binder to show what the events entailed and how they were implemented. We included an in-depth SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis, as well as pictures and diagrams to help show what the actual event looked like. In order for next year’s events to be successful, we will be creating an LGBT History Month Planning Committee 40
As part of USF’s LGBT History Month, students were give the opportunity to express why they have chosen to be Allies to their LGBT peers, friends and family members. consisting of students who will chair particular events and oversee specific aspects of the month (marketing, volunteer management, etc.). A larger planning group will give more students the opportunity to receive leadership and planning experience, as well as the chance to take ownership of something about which they are passionate. Creating new LGBT programs may seem challenging, but ultimately the work invested does pay off. Pursuing new initiatives helps create new traditions and, through making your own LGBT History Month a tradition, you can educate individuals about the LGBT community and create a more inclusive campus climate. I hope what I’ve shared will inspire other campuses to implement their own LGBT History Month events that are as well received as ours at the University of South Florida.
About the Author Kaitlin Winters is a Graduate Advisor in
the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the University of South Florida. She previously served as an ACUHO-I (Association of College and University Housing OfficersInternational) Conference Housing Intern at Texas Christian University and as a NODA (National Orientation Directors Association) Orientation Intern at Johson & Wales University (RI). Active in NACA, she has co-presented at the NACA® South Regional Conference, for which she also served on a past Showcase Selection Committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from the University of West Florida and is pursing a master’s degree in college student affairs from the University of South Florida. MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
Learn How NACA® Foundation Scholarships Can Benefit You Applying is Easy! Emmanuel Reyme Marshall University (WV) Computer Science
I plan to apply [the Multicultural Scholarship for 2013] towards the Seminar for New Professionals. If accepted into the program, … I will be able to [apply] the knowledge gained from it to the campus activities in which I am taking part. I am currently an avid user of social media and I feel as if this program will only refine my current knowledge set. As the world's population increases and job opportunities lessen, I am in search of new ways and techniques to get a competitive edge in the job market. I feel NACA's Seminar for New Professionals will aid me in that endeavor. Again, thank you to those working hard for and partnered with NACA, and to those involved in the selection process.
Jose J. Valencia Northern Illinois University Master of Science in Education
I am very grateful to be a recipient of the National Association for Campus Activities Foundation Graduate Scholarship and would like to thank the scholarship committee. Your scholarship will help me reach my goals, fund my education and allow me to graduate closer to the starting line, instead of in the red. I plan on graduating in a couple of years with my master of science in education in order to become a school counselor. In time, my ultimate goal is to create a community center that will provide free resources like tutoring, leadership initiatives and scholarships. I am excited to return to college once more, because as an undergraduate, I was very involved in campus activities. I plan on participating in student clubs, volunteering at local high schools and helping undergrads map their way through college. Formerly, I was not involved with NACA, but now that I am aware of the great initiatives your organization has developed, I will become a member and seek to implement the best practices of campus activities at NIU. Thank you.
Sonam Shah The George Washington University–Washington, DC Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration with a focus in Student Affairs
I am so thankful to NACA for having selected me as a recipient of the NACA® Multicultural Scholarship for 2013. As an individual of South Asian descent, I am committed to enhancing diversity and educating students about different cultures and identities. I am honored to have been chosen out of all the other qualified candidates, as this scholarship will allow me to attend the 2014 National Convention in Boston, MA. The training workshops and networking opportunities available through NACA will assist me in my growth and development as a student affairs professional and advocate for diversity and campus activities. Scholarships are funded through donations to the Foundation. Are you Interested in donating and making a difference for students? Visit the Foundation’s website www.naca.org/Scholarships/Pages/ default.aspx or use this QR code to donate online!
MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
THE GRADUATE EXPERIENCE
How Do You Conduct a Successful Employment Search When You Can’t Attend a Professional Conference Job Placement Function? By
Kenyon College (OH)
P TO $200 FOR GRADUATE STUDENT REGISTRATION, $250 to share a hotel for three nights, and $350 for a flight from your graduate school to a far-away conference location – the costs to attend a placement function at a professional conference can quickly reach upwards of $800, even for the most deal-conscious of job-seekers. While the value of securing employment is priceless, the sticker price of throwing your name in the hat for positions at one of the major placement programs can often far exceed the budget of a graduate student living on a modest stipend. So, if you can’t afford to make it to The Placement Exchange or C3 this year, your job prospects must be bleak, right? Wrong! With a little effort and a lot of organization, you can still ensure you are considered for your ideal entry-level position.
Sign Up for Online Job Postings While the advantage of face-to-face interaction can often be invaluable, you can still stand out on paper and earn a phone interview through the regular application process. Most major conferences offer the option to sign up for an online account to view all job postings, even if you do not attend a conference. You can even upload your résumé and submit cover letters for many postings. If you see something of interest, you can also see if a contact person is listed (often the supervisor or search chair) and express your interest, mentioning that you won’t be able to make it to the conference for an in-person interview. By noting that you would love the option to speak on the phone or via Skype or similar app, you remain in the running and acknowledge that you want to show off your dynamic interview skills as well as your stellar résumé. Many employers appreciate the initiative and welcome the opportunity to review even more applicants without having to pack interviews into their already busy schedules at a conference.
Consider Other Important Factors While missing a placement event at a major conference certainly won’t torpedo your chances of being hired, there are, however, some important factors to consider. One of the most important is time sensitivity. With jobs posted for interviews at conferences, timeliness can be even more important than those simply listed elsewhere online. While many job postings may note an end date after the conference, employers might have already mentally noted a few favorites from their interviews. Making sure your application is received at least a few days before they leave for the conference increases your chances of being reviewed before they meet other job seekers. Employers might end up interviewing 10 candidates who just aren’t a good fit for their opening and you don’t want to take yourself out of the running by not applying. Sending a personalized email (preferably with an attached cover letter detailing why the job fits your skill set) will set you apart from those who simply upload a résumé and apply for every job for which they even remotely qualify. Just as when you applied for college or graduate school, be certain to make sure you aren’t telling State University that you would love to work at Local College. There’s nothing more embarrassing than selling yourself beautifully, only to be ruled out because you didn’t proofread. When in doubt, check 42
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with your college or university’s career center. If you are in a graduate program, ask one of your professors if they would mind reading over your résumé or cover letters. Your assistantship supervisor is another great resource, particularly if you want to remain in the same functional area.
Seek Additional Job-search Databases After you have signed up for an account on one or more of the major conference placement websites, be sure to check out other job-search databases, like higheredjobs.com, to supplement your search. Many allow you to set up job alerts by region, functional area, or keyword. This is also a great idea if you are hoping to switch your focus to a different functional area. Ask your colleagues if they know of any relevant websites pertaining to the area to which you’re hoping to transition. For example, if you have an assistantship in campus programming but hope to make the move to recreation, call your university’s recreation department and pick their brains for advice. Once you’ve narrowed down the functional area (or areas) on which you are focusing, start setting up relevant job alerts. If you know you want to stay in the Mid-Atlantic and work in residence life, you can subscribe to an email newsletter of new postings. This is especially helpful if you are location-bound or conducting a narrow search. However, many of my peers limited their searches to the better-known websites, missing the hundreds of jobs that are not posted there. Some popular institutions receive thousands of applications for each opening they offer. As a result, some opt not to list their postings on job search databases. Imagine you are hiring an employee at an institution that receives more than 500 applications for every opening – do you want to talk to the applicant who stumbled upon the opening while broadly searching for everything in campus activities, or the person who took the time to navigate to your human resources website and find the position? If you know you want to live in Richmond, VA, search for colleges in the area on Google or Wikipedia (often found in the education sections of city pages). You might be focusing on the University of Richmond or Virginia Commonwealth University, missing Randolph Macon College, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, or other suburban institutions.
Develop an Organizational Method Once you have begun seriously searching, the best thing to do is to develop an organizational method that works for you. I heavily utilized Google Drive during my job search, creating a spreadsheet of jobs for which I was applying, including the contact person, dates of contact, and a column for time and date of phone or on-campus interviews. This allowed me to avoid making a serious gaffe – calling the dean at one institution by the name of her counterpart at another college, for example – as well as maintain some sanity when applying for dozens of positions. I know more than one person who applied for the same job twice, once through the university’s human resources department, and another time through a conference placement exchange. Not only is that unnecessary, but it makes you look disorganized. Some advantages of using Google Drive or a Dropbox file include portability and easy automatic back-up. If you save all of your files on your desktop, you might not be able to quickly respond to an email while you are heading to class or at home for spring break. Additionally, you want to be sure you always have an up-to-date copy of your résumé that can be quickly printed if you unexpectedly run into someone who presents a prime networking opportunity.
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Explore Other Networking Opportunities Networking opportunities are not limited to major conferences, though, and job seekers should remember that any interaction they have with a student affairs professional could present a job opportunity. Informal networking opportunities may be present at your functional area’s regional conferences (such as those offered by NACA, where I had an informal job interview between showcases my second year of graduate school), through relationships with your professors, or through your graduate program’s alumni network. Most graduate students think of pursuing job placement only at a major conference, which causes them to miss the opportunities surrounding them every day. Job seekers also probably envision placement events as a room full of tables with nervous graduate students in newly purchased suits, anxiously awaiting word about their first interviews. What many jobhunters fail to think about is the perspective of the employer. Although dozens of institutions submit openings for placement, many find the process as stressful (if not more stressful) than the job seekers. Imagine sitting in a room for hours on end, reading over dozens of résumés that are beginning to blend together, and asking the same 10 questions to dozens of people. Sounds like a great time, right? While an interviewer may normally be a charmer who outshines her peers in an interview setting, that might be lost after a long day in a stuffy room with no meal breaks.
Stay Organized In short, placement opportunities at major student affairs conferences provide a great chance to meet many professionals, interview for a large number of jobs in a relatively short period of time, and throw your name in the hat for positions you might not have otherwise discovered. However, the misconception that attending a placement conference is necessary to a successful job search is just that – a misconception. If you are able to afford to attend a conference, it will surely be worth your while. If time allows, try to attend the actual conference in addition to the placement event and catch a few educational sessions while you are on site. You might meet someone in one of those sessions who presents an even better networking opportunity than the interviewers at placement. But, if you are unable to attend a conference due to financial or time constraints, don’t assume your options are limited. Just remember you need to hit the ground running and stay organized.
About the Author Kim Blank is Assistant Director of Student Activities at Kenyon College (OH). She previously served as a
graduate assistant for programming at the College of William and Mary (VA). Active in NACA, she served as an NACA® South Regional Conference Intern in 2010. She is also affiliated with NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) and ACPA (American College Personnel Association). She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Dickinson College (PA) and a master’s degree in higher education administration from the College of William and Mary. The Graduate Experience is a series of articles written by or for graduate students, covering issues most important to them. If you’d like to contribute to The Graduate Experience, contact Campus Activities Programming® Editor Glenn Farr at email@example.com.
2014 NACA® Research Grant Call for Proposals
The National Association for Campus Activities is now seeking proposals for the NACA® Research Grant. The NACA® Research Grant is designed to encourage the development and dissemination of knowledge that has the potential to improve the experiences of college students. Completed applications must be received by the NACA Office by 11:59 pm ET, June 13, 2014.
Comprehensive Award Package One research team will be selected for the Comprehensive Award Package. This package includes a stipend of $2,500, paid travel to the NACA® National Convention and additional considerations.
Secondary Award Package Up to five research teams will be selected for the Secondary Award Package. This package includes a cash stipend of $500 and additional considerations
Eligibility The NACA® Research Grant competition is open to faculty, staff and graduate students who plan to conduct research on issues related to college student activities and campus engagement. Cross-institutional research teams are encouraged to apply.
Research Requirements & Selection Criteria Proposals will be evaluated on the extent to which they: • focus on issue(s) related to campus activities and/ or campus engagement. Although all issues related to campus activities will be considered, special consideration will be given to proposals addressing one of the following topics: a. Impact of and involvement in campus activities on improving academic and student success b. Assessment related to campus activities and/or campus engagement c. Structures of programming boards d. Evidence of learning associated with working/volunteering in campus activities
e. Impact of social networking on campus activities and involvement f. Impact of involvement and student activities on alumni giving/involvement g. Impact of technology and its increasing accessibility on students’ lives and their involvement in campus activities h. Impact of participation in campus activities on civic engagement and community service i. Impact of programming for non-traditional students or underrepresented populations • clearly articulate a strong research design. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method studies will be considered. Methodology must be appropriate for the research question(s). • produce results ready for presentation during the 20152016 NACA® Conference/Convention season. • explore unique issues subjects, analysis, participants and/or samples. Research must be original work of the investigators and may not have been reported elsewhere. • have potential to have a national impact on student success initiatives. Results of the research should be relevant to a wide audience. For more information and an application, visit: http:// naca.ws/research-initiatives. If you have questions, contact NACA® Director of Education and Research Dr. Sandra Rouse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NACA® Webinars Continue into Spring
NACA’s 2013-2014 webinars continue with learning opportunities designed to meet the needs of students, staff and associate members. Find more information online at http://www.naca.ws/webnrs or contact Morgan Grant at email@example.com. Remaining Spring 2014 webinars are listed below.
March 2014 Equipping Your Students with Employability Skills
April 2014 The Ins and Outs of Orientation
Hi, BTW are event was gr8! PLS come bak 2 campus netime! Thx. CULater, Student Is this professional and effective communication? Employers indicate that students graduating today are not equipped with sufficient employability skills such as: oral and verbal communication, and interpersonal and leadership skills. This webinar will offer tips and tools that will empower you to equip your student leaders for life in college and beyond. resenter(s): Dr. Sandra Rouse, Director of Education and Research, P and Morgan Grant, Education & Development Coordinator, NACA Date/Time: Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at 2 pm EST Cost: $50
From housing information to getting comfortable with campus to advising, there is a lot to fit into an orientation program and often it can be overwhelming trying to please everyone. Join us for a discussion on how programmatic decisions can be made and implemented successfully on your campus. resenter(s): Jen Polimer, Director of Student Activities & Orientation, P Dean College (MA) Date/Time: Tuesday, April 1, 2014, at 2 pm EST Cost: $50
MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
Save the Date! NACA, Memorial University and NIRSA present
International Experiential Learning Institute May 21-23, 2014 Memorial University • St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
Mark your calendars for this intimate learning experience where you will: • Meet with professionals from other institutions internationally that are engaging students with experiential learning • Learn how student engagement can be supported thorough experiential learning • Gain skills to develop effective experiential learning practices on your campus • Engage in hands-on experiential learning activities with the culture of Newfoundland • Learn best practices of experiential learning: reflection, assessment, activity development and engagement Open Registration coming soon! Visit http://naca.ws/IELInstitute for more information and updates.
The Placement Exchange Conference: Baltimore ‘14 Registration Now Open!
The Placement Exchange will be held in Baltimore, MD, March 12-16, 2014. Averaging close to 1,000 candidates, this premiere, comprehensive placement event is the number one opportunity to screen and interview top student affairs candidates. TPE: Baltimore ‘14 features: • top reviewed services; • larger, comfortable interview environment including carpeting and wireless, and • available upgrades to your interview space. Employers who register for The Placement Exchange: Baltimore and advertise on The Placement Exchange Online will maximize their exposure by reaching both candidates who will attend the placement conference and those who chose to search online and not attend. Registration for the Placement Exchange is open now. For links to registration rates and more information, visit: http://www.theplacementexchange.org/event/index.cfm. The Placement Exchange: Baltimore ‘14 is a joint venture of ACUHO-I, ASCA, NACA, NASPA, NODA, AFA, and HigherEdJobs.com. It makes job placement a rewarding, successful and lowstress experience for all involved. Job searching isn’t easy, yet more than 96% of 2013 candidates recommend TPE for other candidates and a remarkable 99%-plus of 2012 and 2013 employers recommend the event. TPE averages nearly 10,000 on-site interviews while creating a personalized, comfortable experience for candidates and employers.
MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
Scholarships for Student Leaders Awarded
Six scholarships have been awarded through the NACA® Foundation’s Scholarships for Student Leaders Program. Rebecca Ames, who is pursuing a liberal arts degree at Landmark College (VT), is the recipient of the NACA® Northeast Scholarship for Student Leaders. She is active in Phi Theta Kappa and the
National Society for Leadership and Success and is a Dean’s List student. She has been involved in Hillel and LGBTA@Landmark, serving as Student Co-Leader for both organizations in the fall of 2013. She has also been involved with the Animal Wellness Club and the Landmark Community Outreach Group, has participated in the Impressions Literary Magazine, and was a speaker on the Student Technology Panel for the LD Symposium. Tresavoya C. Blake, who is pursuing a bachelor’s
degree in urban and regional studies, with an emphasis on ethnic studies, at the University of WisconsinGreen Bay, is the recipient of the NACA® Heart of America Scholarship for Student Leaders. She currently serves as Vice President of the Black Students Union and is in charge of public relations for the Women of Color organization. In addition, she has served as a Student Ambassador and as a member of the Chancellor’s Council on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, as well as the Diversity Task Force, Kwanzaa Planning Committee and the American Multicultural Student Leadership Conference Planning Committee. She is also a member of Phi Eta Sigma. Ashley N. Booth, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree
in sociology with minors in education and psychology at Arcadia University (PA), is the recipient of the NACA® Mid Atlantic Scholarship for Student Leaders. An Honors Program student with a cumu-
lative 3.5 GPA, she currently serves as a Resident Assistant on the Campus Life Staff, as an Orientation Executive Planner, as a Student Affairs Office Student Worker and as a Peer Mentor. In addition, she is the Student Programming Board President and an Honors Program Mentor. She is also affiliated with S.T.A.M.P., the Study Abroad Mentor Program, through the Arcadia University Office of International Affairs. She has studied in Scotland and New Zealand. Nicole Haase, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in
organizational communication, with a minor in human communication disorders, at Western Michigan University, is the recipient of the NACA® Joseph D. Giampapa Scholarship for Student Leaders. She currently serves as President of the WMU Campus Activities Board, as well as an Admissions Counselor intern in the WMU Office of Admissions. In addition, she serves as a Student Ambassador and Telecounseling Coordinator for the WMU Student Ambassador Office. She previously served the Campus Activities Board as its Media Relations Coordinator and has been a Site Coordinator for Alternative Spring Break and Site Leader for Alternative Bronco Breaks, both in Kalamazoo, MI.
Trevor Mullholland, who is pursuing a bachelor’s
degree in mass communication: public relations, with a minor in management, at Southeast Missouri State University, is the recipient of the Undesignated Scholarship for Student Leaders. He is currently a Student Assistant working in Campus Life at Southeast Missouri State, having served as Program Coordinator until May 2013. He has also been involved with the President’s Leadership Academy, has served on the MLK Celebration Dinner Planning Committee and the Homecoming Planning Committee, and currently is involved in Phi Bet Lambda and serves in Social Media on the Student Activities Council. Active in NACA, he is the NACA® Student Advisory Group Facilitator and the NACA® Mid America Foundation Fundraiser Coordinator. Rachel West, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree
in English, with a minor in international studies, at Centre College (KY), is the recipient of the NACA® Illiana Scholarship for Student Leaders. She currently serves as Vice President of Administration and Big Events and is the Partnerships Committee Chair on the Center College Student Activities Council. In addition, she serves as Assistant to the Program Liaison for the Governor’s School for the Arts, is Managing Editor, Sports Section Editor and Staff Writer for the college newspaper and is an Application Assistant and Welcome Center Receptionist for the Admissions Office. She is a Dean’s List student and the recipient of several scholarships. The Scholarships for Student Leaders Program, established in 1985, was created through donations to the 25 For 25 Drive, a silver anniversary fund-raising project of the NACA® Foundation. The fund provides annual scholarships, seven of which are designated in the following manner: • Public Media Incorporated/Films Incorporated Scholarships for Student Leaders; • NACA® Northeast Region Scholarships for Student Leaders; • Joseph D. Giampapa Scholarship for Student Leaders in the Mid America and Mid Atlantic regions; • NACA® Central and Northern Plains Region Scholarship for Student Leaders in the Central and Northern Plains regions; • NACA® Mid America and Central Regions Scholarship for Student Leaders in the Mid America and Central regions; • NACA® Mid Atlantic Region Thomas E. Matthews Scholarship for Student Leaders; and • an Undesignated Scholarship for Student Leaders.
MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
NACA® SPOTLIGHT Mulholland Receives Zagunis Scholarship Trevor Mullholland, who is pursuing a
bachelor’s degree in mass communication: public relations, with a minor in management, at Southeast Missouri State University, is the recipient of the Zagunis Student Leader Scholarship. Mulholland, who is the NACA® Student Advisory Group Facilitator and the NACA® Mid America Foundation Fundraiser Coordinator, has also served on the NACA® Mid America Showcase Selection Committee and the NACA® Stage Crew in the past. Southeast Missouri State University presented him its Civic Engagement Award in 2013 and its First-Year Student Award in 2011. The Zagunis Scholarship honors the late John Zagunis, the Regional Coordinator for the former NACA® Great Lakes Region from 1993-1997. He received the NACA® Great Lakes New Professional Award in 1990. The Zagunis Student Leader Scholarship was established in 1999 to honor Zagunis for his many contributions to NACA and to the field of campus activities.
Ross-Fahey Scholarship Awarded Kelsey L. Van Nostrand, who is pursuing
a master’s degree in pediatric nursing at Boston College (MA), has been awarded the NACA® Foundation’s Ross-Fahey Scholarship. Van Nostrand graduated from Fordham University (NY) in 2011 and also studied at the University of Melbourne in Australia during the spring of 2010. Throughout her academic career, she has been active in several research areas, including orthopedic surgery clinical research and pediatric hepatology research. She has also co-authored articles for the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research and Pediatric Transplantation. In addition, she has volunteered for the American Cancer Society, was a Fordham Community Service Volunteer, a New Student Orientation Leader, a Campus Ministry Volunteer and a Fordham University Admissions Ambassador. The Ross-Fahey Scholarships were established by the former NACA® New England Region to provide financial assistance to graduate student leaders enrolled in, and new professionals employed at, colleges and universities in the former NACA® New England Region.
Upcoming NACA® Foundation Scholarship Deadlines
The NACA® Foundation offers numerous scholarships that are available to graduate students, undergraduate student leaders and associate members on an annual basis. Scholarship nominations are solicited each year. Upcoming scholarships and deadlines are: • NACA® Mid Atlantic Undergraduate Scholarship for Student Leaders: Open Feb. 15 – March 31, 2014 • NACA® South Student Leadership Scholarship: March 31, 2014 • Multicultural Scholarship Program: May 1, 2014 • NACA® Regional Council Student Leadership Scholarship: Between March 1 and May 1, 2014 • NACA® Mid Atlantic Graduate Student Scholarship: May 30, 2014 • NACA® Foundation Graduate Scholarships: May 30, 2014 • NACA® Mid Atlantic Higher Education Research Scholarship: June 15, 2014 • Lori Rhett Memorial Scholarship: June 30, 2014
A complete listing of scholarships and criteria can be found online at http://www.naca.org/Scholarships/Pages/ScholarshipListings.aspx. For additional information, contact Morgan Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apply Now to Become Student Advisory Group Facilitator Deadline Is April 1, 2014
Applications are being accepted for the NACA® Student Advisory Group Facilitator and advisors should encourage qualified students to apply. The Student Advisory Group Facilitator is responsible for facilitation of regularly scheduled meetings and phone calls of the Group, providing input to the Board of Directors regarding issues and concerns from the student perspective. The Student Advisory Group Facilitator will attend all meetings of the Board of Directors as a non-voting member. Applicants for the position should have: • a minimum of one year of experience in an active student leadership position (preferably two years); • involvement with NACA, preferably through service with a regional conference planning or Convention committee or standing committee; • attendance at one or more regional conferences or a National Convention; and • good academic standing at an NACA® member institution (a copy of the student’s transcript must be submitted).
An undergraduate student may serve as Facilitator. However, graduate students are preferred. For more information, contact Morgan Grant at email@example.com. Applications may be submitted online (http://www.naca.org/Volunteers/ Pages/NationalPositions.aspx). MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
CAMPUS NEWS NACA® Chair-elect Ken Brill Assumes Key Responsibilities with Augustana 2020 Initiative NACA® Chair-elect Ken Brill is now
Associate Dean and Vice President of Student Life, Leadership and Engagement at Augustana College (IL), a position that will offer him significant new responsibilities with a new initiative on campus. Brill’s new responsibilities come with the launch of Augustana 2020: Enhancing Student Success, Before and After Graduation – A Strategic Plan, which the institution initiated in January 2014. A main
objective of the plan is to integrate learning experiences inand outside the classroom. “Ken will be leading our work on learning outcomes, as well as overseeing our involvement in creating an integrated environment of learning for our students,” said Dr. Evelyn Campbell, Dean and Vice President of Student Affairs at Augustana College, in an announcement last month. “I will play a key role in making this happen. In many ways, the work will require all of us to come out of our silos and engage with each other collaboratively. I look forward to the challenge and the opportunity to work more closely with my academic colleagues,” said Brill. “Augustana 2020 promises significant changes to our roles on campus. I am looking forward to all of us working together to make Augustana in 2020 reflect the goals we are currently dreaming of,” added Campbell. Brill, who will become Chair of the NACA® Board of Directors effective May 1, 2014, has long been involved with the Association. “I have been involved in many wonderful volunteer opportunities through NACA.,” he said. “The two volunteer leader positions that stand out include my participation on the Education Advisory Group (EAG) and my current role as Chair-elect for the Board of Directors. The EAG was
an amazing experience because of the colleagues involved with two significant NACA initiatives: the Steps to Individual Excellence as a Campus Activities Professional and the Competency Guide for College Student Leaders. Both projects offered regular engaging conversations regarding the campus activities profession, professional and student competencies and trending issues in higher education. “As Chair-elect, each day offers a new challenge and I’m learning much about the complexities of leading a professional association,” he concluded.
NASPA Recognizes Suffolk University Program, Two Professionals NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) has recognized Suffolk University (MA) for its unique approach to developing student leaders, as well as for the supportive residential environment it offers. The Journey Leadership Program (http://suffolk. edu/campuslife/5514.php), a four-year program focusing on involvement, service, career exploration and leadership, was honored as Massachusetts Program of the Year and New England Region Program of the Year. The Journey Leadership Program was developed by Student Leadership and Involvement Director David DeAngelis, who is under consideration for additional recog-
nition at the NASPA national conference this month (March). DeAngelis is Immediate Past Chair of the NACA® Board of Directors. NASPA also honored Keith Waak, resident director at Suffolk’s 150 Tremont St. residence hall as the Massachusetts Outstanding New Professional. More information and photos are available online at http://suffolk.edu/news/27531.php#. UvAIl_Z-dib.
SHARE YOUR GOOD NEWS! Share what’s going on with you professionally and personally in the Campus News section of the NACA® website, as well as in the NACA® Spotlight in Campus Activities Programming® magazine. This feature is designed for students and staff to inform others about what’s going on in their lives. It’s an easy way to announce a: New job or promotion • Marriage or civil union • Birth or adoption of a child • Graduation • Award or other recognition Thank-you to other members • And much more
Visit http://www.naca.org/Education/Pages/CampusNews.aspx to submit information, or email it to Glenn Farr, editor of Campus Activities Programming®, at firstname.lastname@example.org. 48
MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
NACA® Mid Atlantic Festival, Northern Plains Regional Conference
While the fall NACA® Regional Conferences are behind us, the NACA® Mid Atlantic Festival and the NACA® Northern Plains Regional Conferences will be coming soon. The NACA® Mid Atlantic Festival will be held March 21-11, 2014, in East Stroudsburg, PA. For up-to-date information, visit: http://naca.ws/MATFest. The NACA® Northern Plains Regional Conference will be held April 3-6, 2014, in St. Paul, MN. For complete information, visit: http://naca.ws/nplconf.
COMING IN APRIL 2014:
Campus Activities Programming® Magazine The April 2014 issue of Campus Activities Programming® will focus on aspects of assessment, budgeting and risk management. Also, be sure to check out the gallery of awards recipients from the 2014 NACA® National Convention in Boston. And remember that the digital version of recent issues of Campus activities Programming® are always available online at TIVITIES http://naca.ws/cap-mag. C ® A S U P AM ca.org
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MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
NACA® LEADERSHIP 2013–2014 NACA® BOARD OF DIRECTORS
MATT MORRIN University of South FloridaSt. Petersburg
Bridgewater State University (MA)
Immediate Past Chair
Linfield College (OR)
Vice Chair for Programs
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Maryville University of Saint Louis (MO)
Guest Board Member
Guest Board Member
Eastern Illinois University
University of South Carolina
Augustana College (IL)
Suffolk University (MA)
JENNY BLOOM, EdD
Culver-Stockton College (MO)
University of Miami (FL)
University of Washington-Bothell
NACA® PROGRAM LEADERS
Leadership Fellows Coordinator
Suffolk University (MA)
NACA® Northern Plains
NELLIE HERMANSON University of Iowa
University of Missouri-Kansas City
NACA® National Convention Program Committee Chair
California State University-Monterey Bay
NACA® Mid America
DAIN GOTTO Northern Illinois University
NACA® Mid Atlantic
Saint Joseph’s University (PA)
MATT MILLER Bridgewater State University (MA)
Institute Series Coordinator
AMANDA HORNE Stephen F. Austin State University (TX)
MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
NACA® ASSOCIATE AND STUDENT ADVISORY GROUPS 2013–2014 NACA® ASSOCIATE ADVISORY GROUP
BRIAN WAYMIRE The Agency Coalition
The College Agency
GINA KIRKLAND Kirkland Productions
Call Box Entertainment
NACA® Mid America
NACA® Mid Atlantic
Sophie K Entertainment
NACA® Northern Plains
The College Agency
ROBIN MENIER Summit Comedy
2013–2014 NACA® STUDENT ADVISORY GROUP
TREVOR MULHOLLAND Southeast Missouri State University
Stephen F. Austin State University (TX)
NACA® Mid America
NACA® Mid Atlantic
Salt Lake Community College (UT)
Marymount Manhattan College (NY)
AUBREY GOULD Salve Regina University (RI)
NACA® Northern Plains
Gustavus Adolphus College (MN)
North Carolina A & T State University
KATIE ROUSSO Eastern Washington University/Eagle Entertainment
MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
TEN QUESTIONS with...
1. Leadership/management book you are currently reading?
My supervisor gave me a copy of Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun by Wess Roberts. It gives great perspectives on leadership with historical content. From the title, I was not sure what to expect, but after cracking it open and reading the first chapter, I have found it to be a great resource. Ultimately, the book challenged my own perspective on leadership. 2. What recent campus program most exceeded your expectations and why?
The Campus Activities Board, Student Government Association, and Residence Hall Association were extremely motivated to bring back Winter Formal this year. The traditional event had been cancelled because student behavior repeatedly failed to meet the College’s standards. After numerous meetings, re-branding brainstorming sessions, and a plan to manage students’ and the College’s expectations, the newly branded “Fall Ball” was a go. Because of everyone’s hard work, dedication and willingness to take ownership of the event, the Ball was a hit and ran incredibly smoothly. I am very proud of all three groups for making it go so well! 3. Favorite campus program in your entire career and why?
Tyler Micek, MS
Director of Student Activities & Leadership Coker College (SC)
“10 Questions with …” is a recurring feature in Campus Activities Programming® that recognizes individual campus activities professionals for their outstanding work and gives readers a chance to know more about them. If you’d like to recommend a professional staff member to answer “10 Questions,” contact Editor Glenn Farr at email@example.com. 52
tools and resources available to be successful, but I don’t necessarily hold their hands. When students work within student activities, they have the opportunity to develop great skills in project management, critical thinking, problem solving, and countless other areas. 6. Technology that most benefits you at work?
I have a love/hate relationship with my email. It is an incredibly helpful communication tool, and I could not do my job nearly as well without it. Unfortunately, sometimes it just takes away too much time I would like to be spending elsewhere. 7. Most challenging aspect of your job?
Sometimes it can be tough to narrow down in exactly what direction I will go. I have been blessed with a great supervisor who gives me a lot of freedom. With so many options for new programs or initiatives on campus, sometime I need to reign myself in and focus on one or two things at a time to make sure they are being done well and really benefiting our students in the best ways possible before moving on to the next idea. 8. Tip you can share for balancing work with a personal life?
Right now, we are currently working on all of the details of Bandfest. It has become a tradition at Coker, but with this being my first one, it is great to see how such a large-scale event is created from beginning to end. Even though my taste in music is apparently not the same as that of my students, I am incredibly excited to see it all come together in April!
From observing others, it seems like getting a dog is a great way to help stay in balance. Having a dog forces you to get out of the office and leave campus more often. Plus apparently dog parks are a big deal. Living in an apartment where I can’t have pets, I don’t know firsthand, though. For those of us without pets, we should definitely have a Netflix account.
4. Three things on your desk right now you couldn’t live without for work?
9. Best programming advice you’ve ever received?
1. My phone with access to my email and calendar. 2. My notebook containing all of my to-do lists, notes from meetings, random thoughts, etc. 3. My jar of candy because it gets students to stop by my office almost daily. The in-person communication I get because of it is invaluable. 5. Best teaching tool for your students?
Not only allowing, but expecting students to have ownership for the things they do and the events they want to produce. Don’t get me wrong: I will assist them along the way and make sure that they have the knowledge,
“People support and defend that which they help create.” Unless students are truly invested in the events and initiatives we offer on campus, we will not be successful. I have learned from numerous mentors that the best way to get others invested is to have them be involved in the creation of new ideas, not just the implementation. 10. Something unique about your programming board?
They are crazy, kooky, and full of energy. I have been thoroughly impressed by their devotion and ability to “make it work.” They are a great group work with!
MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING®
CURTAIN CALL Classic
The High Price of Life in the Fast Lane MARK NIZER (Editor’s Note: the following column originally appeared in the March 1996 issue of Campus Activities Programming®. Here’s a fun — and fast — trip down the Interstate of memory.) Here I sit on USAir #1181 to Boston, my head still spinning from last night’s dizzying events. Being on the road can be grueling and strange events happen in some of the most harmless looking places. (Overheard at the counter at a Little Rock, AR, Waffle House™: “Does this look infected to you? … Ever since I got out … .”) I never fail to cringe at the bizarre quirks and lifestyles exhibited by some of the folks I encounter. Well, here’s a bizarre, ironic, and all-too-true story of my own I’d like to share. After a gig in Muskogee, OK, I’m driving from Tulsa to Jackson, TN, for a gig that night. After a leisurely breakfast at Denny’s (at noon) and a stop at the local mall to pick up some gummy bears, a jumbo pixie stick and a troll, I realize I’ve miscalculated my driving time. The contract wants me there at 5 pm for a sound check and the show starts at 6 pm. At my current speed, my ETA is 6:15 pm. So, I break out the fuzzbuster, polish my shades and buckle up. I shadow some idiot doing 80 mph-plus for about an hour and things are starting to look pretty good. The two speed traps were easy to find with this guy in front blazing the trail. So I’ve gained an hour and I’m thinking I’ll make it by 5:30 pm. I exit onto the home stretch, a two-lane road, 55 mph, and no one around. So outta nowhere some state trooper hits his instant-on … I get a second’s notice, slam on the brakes and knock 10-15 mph off my velocity. I look at the speedometer. I’m still going 70 mph – ooooopps!!! You must realize that after driving 80 mph for three hours, 70 mph seems like you could get out and walk that fast. Before I even pass him, I pull over, right as he hits his lights. There go my timesavings. I stash my RADAR detector, still glowing red from his RADAR gun, grab my license, car rental certificate and show contract and get ready to start schmoozing my way outta this as quickly as I can. “I’m sorry I was speeding, I’m late for this show and there’s 500 people waiting for me,” I blab as my temples are pounding with adrenaline. “My plane was late.” I’m looking for anything now, trying to find common ground with Mr. Leather. “Step out of the car, please,” he demands. “Don’t you have any shoes?” “Sorry.” I run back and grab my boots. We get in his muscle Mustang. As he holds my license in his hand, he explains the fine is $50 plus $100 court fees, and because Tennessee and California don’t have an exchange policy, I’ll have to pay him cash on the spot or … . Before he has a chance to finish, I blurt, “Can you give me a break? I’m trying to get to this show. I’m just trying to make a living.” I thought appealing to his Midwestern work ethic might bond us. I was wrong. “Hey, you were going 71 mph. It’s right here,” he says, pointing to the
RADAR screen. I’m thinking I don’t have $150 on me and he’s going to drag me to his little jail or ATM and this is going to take all night. Not only will I be late, I’ll be too late. Well, I figure I’ll go for broke, bring in the big guns. “I’m a juggler.” (Nothing from Mr. Leather.) “I’ve been on Arsenio Hall,” I mumble, unsure if that was a good thing. As his head rose from the ticket starting to take shape, he asked, “Are you the guy that bounces the balls off the piano?” Boy, I can’t tell you many people have mindlessly confused me with Dan Menendez (the guy who invented and performs this trick). Sure, we’re both men, we have arms and legs, and we juggle, but we look about as similar as Dana Carvey and Kojak. I hate nothing more than being misidentified as “that guy on TV … you do chain saws, right?” “That’s me!” I proudly declare. “I got the piano in the car. Here, I’ll show you.” I bolt outta the muscle Mustang and grab a brochure from my flight bag. While he stares at the pictures, I point out the Arsenio Hall credit at the top of my list of TV appearances. “I just had my manager print these up,” I say, sounding more and more like a used car salesman about to sell the biggest lemon on the lot. I open the trunk and point at my black anvil prop case in the bottom of the trunk. “The piano’s in there.” (Yeah, like I really have one.) “Here, I’ll show you.” I grab five silicone balls from my bag and start force bouncing them on the side of Route 100 East. Cars zoomin’ by and I’m thinkin’, if this works, this is gonna make a great story for The Tonight Show or America’s Most Wanted. “Watch out for those cars,” my new, concerned friend says. “Here, have a T-shirt,” I say, completing my schmoozing presentation with a tactful gift – not a bribe! No, no! “Got any kids? … “ “Yeah … ,” he begins. “Here’s one for him,” I say, sealing the transaction. “I have two!” he adds. “Of course you do,” I humbly add, realizing there’ll be none left for the show. He hands me my license and papers and says, “I love that show. Slow down and get goin’.” ‘Nuff said. I jump in the car and peel out to Jackson, thanking my lucky troll that people have no clue when it comes to jugglers. I make the show, get paid, and save $150 bucks. Next time I see Dan Menendez, though, I’m gonna buy him an adult beverage. PS. The moral to this story is: If you must speed, be ready to pay the price – two T-shirts, 10 throws, and your dignity.
Mark Nizer, a long-time NACA® member, is an award-winning juggler and comedian who incorporates 3D technology into his performances. He is represented in NACA by DCA Productions (www.dcaproductions.com). Among many honors, he is a first-place winner in the International Juggling Championships and received multiple nominations in NACA’s Campus Entertainment Awards. In addition, he has multiple TV credits, ranging from Just for Laughs and Caroline’s Comedy Hour to the Jerry Lewis Telethon and Entertainment Tonight, among others. For more information, visit http://nizer.com or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. “Curtain Call” is a regular feature of Campus Activities Programming® in which performers or agents who are members of NACA share anecdotes that help illuminate their perspectives and experiences in the college market. Occasionally, the feature revisits “classic” installments from the past. Entertainers and agencies wishing to submit a prospective column should contact Editor Glenn Farr at email@example.com.
STEPS FOR SUCCESSFUL COLLABORATION
Texas Christian University “COLLABORATION” IS ONE OF THE LATEST BUZZWORDS IN STUDENT AFFAIRS. Student Activities
practitioners frequently advocate the inherent benefits of it: a) saving money, b) increasing creativity, and c) educating students on the responsibility and accountability that comes with real-world partnerships. However, accountability and communication often break down from start to finish. We are compelling students to collaborate, but not necessarily addressing the struggles – confusing lines of communication, clashing personalities and work styles, and even a dilution of experience and practice for students – that come with adding more seats to the decision-making table. We need to teach our students how to successfully navigate these collaborations and demonstrate to what a strong partnership can lead. I would like to provide steps and recommendations for success in the collaboration and co-sponsorship process for student organizations and programming boards. My intended audience is student organizations, student affairs professionals and advisors who participate in event planning and support on college campuses. The five steps for a successful collaborative venture include: 1. Networking 2. Brainstorming 3. Budgeting 4. Mediating 5. Being Accountable
1. Networking Programming boards should be building a system of supportive, professional relationships with offices on campus, student organizations and local businesses. The idea behind creating a strong network is that, among this system, there is a common goal or interest from which ideas are generated. Look for student organizations, student affairs offices, and academic offices that share your group’s mission and vision. At an institution where I previously served, our programming board brought Heads vs. Feds, a debate to legalize marijuana, to campus as part of a lecture series for students. We partnered with the Division of Student Affairs to also create a “lunch and learn” session for faculty and staff regarding drug use, awareness and prevention on campus. The Division played a huge role in assisting with funding and marketing efforts and was able to create a professional development opportunity for Student Affairs at a minimal cost. Academic offices are always looking for ways to connect
with students, so it is advantageous for your organization to find ways to connect to the academic mission of the office in trying to garner support for a co-sponsorship.
2. Brainstorming Once you have identified constituents who share your goals, begin conversations about possible collaborative efforts. I’ve found my most successful discussions to be over coffee or lunch with idea sharing, dialogue about the purpose, context, and goals of each group, and brainstorming about ways a partnership could come together in a meaningful way. On the other hand, if you or your team has already created the idea for an amazing program or event, but is lacking resources to accomplish your vision, then look for other groups to help make the event a reality. However, be willing to compromise on the event as the other organization may have competing goals or purposes for the program.
3. Budgeting Budgeting and brainstorming happen somewhat simultaneously as the budget is established as plans for the event take shape. The importance of networking also comes into play here, because depending on how much buy-in you’ve solicited from the other group(s), you might be able to obtain more support. Also, during the budgeting phase, you may discover you do not have the adequate funds or supplies to make your event a reality. This is the time to seek more partnerships. Be resourceful. In college towns, making students aware of new products or services in the area is of vital importance to new businesses. Work with them to create a mutually beneficial relationship; they get promotion and name recognition at your event, and you get free food or giveaways. Even if your group does have the budget to produce a program, it’s still a great idea to seek savvy partnerships to strengthen marketing, logistics and awareness, or even to gather ideas to fine-tune and enhance the program. For example, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) has a leadership program facilitated through the campus programming board. This program serves as a way to train and develop future directors and members of the programming board, increase engagement, provide leadership development, and offer practice programming for the student body. All directors on the programming board become part of the training process. Program participants are asked to defend their program proposal to the board and request funds
MARCH 2014 CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING® WEB EXCLUSIVE
to implement their ideas. Through this, we have seen all of the directors chipping in money, marketing expertise, time and volunteer hours to help make the program a success. We also partnered with a middle agency to have mock negotiations and conversations surrounding event planning. Program participants are also asked to find other student groups, off-campus vendors, or campus departments to support their program. A budgeting possibility programming boards often overlook is collaboration within the organization itself. Some of our most creative events have come from individual students or subgroups within our organization sharing budgets and working together to make the event more than a one-dimensional experience. The difficult part of working within the typical programming board structure is that there is little flexibility among the leadership roles. The director of films handles only films and the director of concerts offers only concerts, etc. But there are more possibilities if students are willing to look beyond the scope of their job descriptions. For example, our director of films offered a black-and-white silent film during Halloween, and the director of concerts produced a live orchestra to play the movie’s soundtrack. Once you’ve dreamed up your perfect program, it’s important for the groups involved to view themselves as one team. Bring the team together for the next conversation about how resources and strengths will come together to make the event possible. There are several areas to consider when distributing responsibility for an event: money, manpower, marketing, and measuring success. Start by setting a program budget, creating a chart of contributions from each party. Record the monetary contributions to which each organization is committing, but remember that not all collaborations must be split equally. Often, when partnering with a student group, it might be the case they may not have the finances to split the cost down the middle, but they can contribute $50 to food for the event, or they may have a really great marketing presence on campus and can creatively reach out to attract new attendees. Play up on each other’s strengths. For example, if partnering with a business student organization, delegate the budgeting and marketing responsibilities to them.
4. Mediating When collaborating, there needs to be a clear chain of communication and a detailed list of tasks and responsibilities for all parties. Have each group talk through their roles and write everything down to maintain comprehensive records throughout the planning process. Record details about expectations and which organization is responsible for which task. You can create a template that documents acceptance of the responsibilities for each party, such as: a) scheduling (space reservations, equipment, technicians, cash box, ticket sales, etc.), b) labor (load-in, load-out, ushers, ticket takers, security, etc.), c) promotion, and d) program support (logistics, contracts, catering, lodging, travel, volunteer coordination, etc.). For example, during our student organization renewal and recognition process held in the fall, more than five student organizations came together to create a cultural holiday celebration. Because there were so many student leaders, advisors and student members involved in producing this event, we needed to thoroughly outline each party’s contribution. Our
programming board provided most of the funding, while the other groups worked on logistics or marketing. It was also beneficial to bring together the advisors of each student organization to talk through the event. Previously, for large events, I have used a co-sponsorship “contract” for each contributing organization to sign, agreeing to produce and promote the program. In this document, we confirmed details such as location, date, time, estimated expenses and signatures from student officers from each group, as well as the organizations’ advisors, when applicable. When students began laying blame on their collaborators for failing to execute their part of the event, I could refer to the contract to review which group selected responsibility for that portion of the event. In our wrap-up, this document was a useful tool in debriefing the event and learning from our mistakes.
5. Being Accountable When involving multiple people in one project, communication and accountability can easily become diluted as the parties involved pursue their respective responsibilities. For each task and responsibility, there should be a point person accountable for that assignment. The team should come together to determine workflow in a realistic and pragmatic way. Writing down the areas of responsibility and displaying them in a public place – whether online or on a giant Post-it® note taped to the wall – can help provide clarity as decisions are being made and plans are being implemented. Ultimately, we all know that even the best-laid plans are subject to change or may go awry. An important part of accountability is recognizing that no amount of work or preparation can prevent mishaps. Student programmers are not professional event planners and, therefore, cannot be expected to think through every potential outcome. Accountability can be only an expectation when the right tools, information, and settings are available. Furthermore, accountability should be encouraged as a peer-to-peer approach, which signifies ownership and intentionality among students.
Bigger Possibilities and Better Programs Collaboration can produce bigger possibilities and better programs when the collaborators can find the right balance between personal ownership and the trust that comes from a true partnership. Building relationships, communicating effectively, and negotiating responsibility through peer-to-peer accountability can help lead student groups toward a more successful and more intentional event planning process.
About the Author Ali Stowe is Student Activities Coordinator at Texas Christian University. She previ-
ously served as a Student Activities Graduate Assistant at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). In NACA, she served as the NACA® South Graduate Intern for Educational Offerings in 2012. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies from Virginia Tech.
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