A part of my protocol for LAS is to be active on a LEAD team and since I’m pretty fond of coordinating events I chose to join the Special Events/Social LEAD Team. I had a lot of excitement for this team because our main purpose/goal was to provide unique and interesting opportunities for LAS cohorts and other students involved in the Leadership Institute to connect and engage with each other. I wanted to see relationships grow and memories made which is exactly what happened! A few of the events we planned for the 2016-2017 academic year were LAS Olympics, LAS on ICE, LAS Picnic, and LAS Tiger’s Game. These events were a TON of fun to plan and I gained a lot of valuable experience throughout the year while getting closer to my cohort.

Throughout the year I found myself stepping up in many ways during the planning process of the different events. I wanted to put all of the information I’ve been learning in my event management courses to good use to ensure the success of the events. I added suggestions and ideas to help make the events as creative and interesting as possible while also working closely with the details and logistics of the events to minimize potential issues. Near the end of the year, the chair of our team approached me and thanked me for my contribution to the team. She even asked if I would be interested in taking her position for next year. Although I didn’t quite see myself as a leader in the group, I still would put forth my best efforts. Knowing that she noticed my efforts encouraged me to always do my best work in everything I’m a part of because if I do anything less I’m not doing my job. Even when I thought my idea was a stupid idea or my opinion didn’t really matter, it was still my responsibility to be an active member within my group. Being a part of this team has shown me that showing up, speaking up, and stepping up are all responsibilities of a leader and that in order to contribute my best effort I must be actively doing those three things.

I enjoyed it so much I even applied for next year’s chair position and got it! My dedication and contribution to this team has generated a few ideas that I plan on implementing next year because I believe this team has so much potential to really make a difference within the Leadership Institute. Although we do plan fun events for our students to hang out and relax, I think we are doing much more than that. I hope to give other students besides the LAS scholars the opportunity to bond and connect with the Leadership Institute to help us reach out more to other parts of campus. Welcoming more students into our organization could provide opportunities to build relationships, build a sense of inclusion and acceptance, network, and grow as a leader. One thing that is crucial when planning events for a diverse group of people is to get many different opinions and suggestions. This will contribute to the overall success of our events. The main initiative is to provide inclusive, accessible, and engaging events that the students have a real interest in. I would like to hear more of how the students want to spend their time during college and what the Special Events LEAD Team can do to create lasting memories.

My time and experience on this team has definitely been worthwhile and I am grateful I had the opportunity to serve my peers in a way like no other. I genuinely had fun planning and attending the events and I’m looking forward to what next year has in store.

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