Talk to anyone who lives their life in academic years and they'll tell you that October
an enigma that always leaves students and staff alike in a weird place by the time it's
over. Academic stressors, fall weather in full motion, the fading shimmer of the new
year flying by, and programs/events/gatherings galore make for some awfully busy
weeks. Bittersweet as it is, student organizations begin losing once highly-committed
folks and are suddenly made up of a smaller amount of extremely dedicated students
who are truly enthusiastic about the difference they are making. |
Chaffee Hall's hall council at Boise State University began no different than the ones
I'd seen in the past at the start of the year. It didn't take long, however, for me to see
the energy and capability that made this year's group of first year students stand out.
And then there's this month, which blew me out of the water. Between their
commitment to the people in their meetings, the programs they're putting on, and
the work they're focusing on doing just to make others feel appreciated, I'm living an
Let's begin with general meetings. At this point in this year, I walk into their meetings
and see the president with her color-coded agenda already pulled up on the screen.
New members are introduced to the group to make them feel like there's never a
chance missed to jump right in. Discussions about "the empty chair" are happening,
which encourage them to think about perspectives and voices missing from their
space when they plan programs. Speaking of which, they've regularly got several
different programs planned that accommodate different interests, schedules, and
balance the need for introvert and extrovert friendly activities. They've spent time
getting to know what's happening in each others' lives, and they've had dialogues
when things didn't go so smoothly during the last event. This is all from students who
had no idea what any of this was a mere six weeks prior.
Now, let me tell you about their programs. A campus wide game of Humans vs.
Zombies brought students together for some sock-throwing, spooky fun. To spice
things up, the Chaffee Hall Council put together a special event where those who had
become zombies could obtain antidotes cleverly hidden around campus. They gifted
the winner a bookstore gift card and helped get some more participation in the game
outside of the main goal. They teamed up with another community to put on "Gettin'
Corny", a corn themed fall festival. With all things corn related came the opportunity
for the hall council members to explore teamwork, budgeting for large scale events,
and food from a different culture. Some of the members took the time learn what
Elote was about so they could share an Elote bar with residents while educating
students on what it was. Over Parent and Family weekend, they did face-painting
before the football game but also had photos that residents had submitted on the
wall so families and friends could get a glimpse into the year.
Service is really important to this team. They made breast cancer awareness ribbons
to give out. They worked to gather supplies for "Blessing Bags" in partnership with a
local student teacher and her classroom. When Boise State hosted an RA-centered
conference, our hall council members were volunteering among the RAs.
Hall councils are a pretty common way for students to jump into campus involvement,
but this group of students cannonballed Sandlot-style into their own unique
leadership experience in a way that makes me, our community, and hopefully
themselves so very proud.
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