Ed Session Summary by Kendra Tully

Ed Session 1: “From Zero to Hero: Creating a weekend programming series from the ground up” with Linda Bernazzani from WIT

Linda mainly covered “Weekends at WIT” which she started as a weekend series program. In order to create a successful weekend programming series, she stressed establishing consistency with time, place, location, and advertising. In addition, she suggested doing mainly late night programming, from a period between 9pm-1am, as she found these times most conducive to the college campus lifestyle and found this to be a good alternative to students not looking to go out on the weekends. From this session I got some event ideas for a “meal or no meal” (using dining dollars), life sized clue game, and coffeehouse event with massage.

Friday, 11/01 Meangirls and Groupthink with 2 student presenters from UCONN

This session was very informative. We talked about what “groupthink” is, why groupthink happens and also possible solutions, and there was a lot of time for student participation, which allowed students from other campuses to share their common struggles. Groupthink is: “the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility.” We came up with several reasons why this might happen: there is a pressure for consensus when trying to get things done, one person may be taking control/ overriding other people, we trust others with more “experience” to make decisions, and people have a hard time breaking away from the mold and standing up for something new. Some solutions we came up with for this problem are: providing a more open/welcoming atmosphere, constantly checking in with people (allowing time people to process information instead of feeling pressured to make decisions right away),  reminding the board members of the organization’s mission statement (so the group does not stray from their values), and, if you are on the leadership, keeping opinions to oneself until everyone else has had a chance to speak.

Ed Session 4: “The D word: Diversity programming on campus”

This ed session explored the ways in which individuals can approach the meaning of “diversity.” The presenters gave us a diagram illustrating visible and invisible traits that people might possess, some of which were gender, skin color, age, religion, sexual orientation, education, and many more. There are innumerable ways in which people are different and the purpose of the session was to bring awareness to that fact when programming for a student body. The session ended with an activity in which each group was assigned an event and asked to pick out the ways in which the event might exclude certain groups based on those seen and unseen differences.

Ed Session 5: Excellence in programming

For the last Ed Session, I did not go to an actual session, but instead presented Excellence in Programming with Loryn. There were 3 other groups that presented in the same time block, all from the same size category. Even though we didn’t win I am still very proud of the job we did.

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