Monday, November 17, 2008

Campus Events

Campus Event #1 Dance Marathon
For my campus event I went to Dance Marathon this past weekend. This is an annual event where students pledge to raise $240 and then come and dance for 24 hours. All of the money raised goes to Parent to Parent Family Support Network which is an organization that works with families who have children with chronic illnesses, disabilities, or who have passed away. They connect families and have support groups to assist parents in the transitions as well as in coping. The other organization is Western Youth Network that works to give positive influences to middle school youth in the high country through mentoring, tutoring and after school programs. This year we had 70 full time dancers and a good amount of morale dancers, people who come for 2 hour time slots to support dancers. This was an event that I posted to the blog because it is a fundraiser. I want to make a non-profit and in order to do that I have to learn to write grants and use the local community to help fund the program.
I was the chair for this event and responsible for over seeing all the positions and committee members. My job included running the planning meetings and checking in with team members to make sure they were following through with their responsibilities. We had 8 volunteer committee members who met twice a week. Positions included food chair that was responsible for getting food donations for the day of, the advertisement chair that created posters and flyers to get the word out, community partner chair that worked side by side with the Executive Directors of the organizations, as well as a fundraising chair, entertainment chair, and a registration chair. This event, more the planning of it could be considered interdisciplinary because it took a lot of different skills to pull it off. We needed to know how to draw peoples attention to get them interested, how to budget and stay within our limits, how to ask for donations and write letters for businesses, etc. This event takes integrated knowledge from several areas of study.
Three days after the event, I am still recovering but it was worth it. Western Youth Network and Parent to Parent received a little over $10,000 and now have money to continue their efforts to help out the community. This was a great event to get involved in, especially to prepare myself for the future.

Campus Event #2: The Tunnel of Oppression
For my second event I went to the Tunnel of Oppression this past week. This is a great and very impacting event that is put on by SGA every year. I have gone the past three years and every time I learn something new and am impacted in a new way. The people who participate and help in putting it on transform the Blue Ridge Ballroom in the Student Union. The rooms are divided among issues and show a different act of oppression. You walk into this dark room to come across a wall of words, some you know and some you don’t. The words are of hate, and sometimes you use them not knowing the context behind them and also who the word is offending. The next section you walk into is video clips of past events, clips from Philadelphia showing hatred against the homosexual population, scenes from the Pianist that shows the Holocaust and the horrible treatment of Jews and more. Other rooms show sexual assault, abuse, self-image and eating disorders, disabilities, and racial issues. Each scene has people acting or talking and then facts that are given about the issue. At the end, and this part is my favorite, they give students the opportunity to express their feelings on what they just saw. You can read comments others have made and it is interesting to hear what they do. A lot of people are shocked at what they hear, or angry. Many emotions are played out in this tunnel. The group you walk through with is then led to a room where they can have a discussion about what they learned or found interesting.
This is an event that could be considered interdisciplinary because it takes a lot of planning and thought process to make sure that students learn and are rattled in their standings, but not offended or close minded in the process. Many different campus groups came together to put this event on and each bring different skills and talents to it. I as an attendee had to draw from all of the disciplines I have studied in order to get the most of it. Knowing the history of oppression helps to internalize what is happening now as well as what could happen in the future.
This is a great event that everyone should attend. You learn a lot and it is free, so why not!?

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