Saturday, May 14, 2011

Plant Sale (duplicate post)

With one more thing to add to the busy schedule I keep for the next year, I asked to be nominated for the presidency of our departmental graduate student association. Not wanting to step on anyone’s toes, I rarely ask to lead things if there is someone else capable of taking the leadership role when I can just as easily lead without the title. But this time, I wanted the title, the authority and to finally do something that I can look back and formally get credit for, so here goes. Hopefully they’re glad they voted for me when this is all over.

Our grad student association was pretty dead when I showed up last year. No offense to any grad students who read this, but that is at least the way it seemed to me and the other new people last year. Most people didn’t spend a lot of time with each, either in service projects or in social activities. This isn’t to say that the club wasn’t formally doing things, but the club in theory consisted of far more people than the few that actually showed up and did stuff. I had long talks with the now past president about frustrations with lack of group participation, and so my goal since last fall has been to encourage people to start joining in activities, starting as always with the big winners, sports and drinks. Everyone likes a little bit of social drinking as a group; as our Wageningen University president said, it made meeting people much easier. And honestly, it works well. We’ve had great participation in group drinks and sports, and everyone has been good at encouraging group participation so that we’ve all gotten to know each other a lot better.

Hoping to build on the momentum we’ve gained through the past year, I volunteered and was elected to the presidency in the hope that we can really mold this student body into a factor and a positive influence on campus. There are so many opportunities for us to make an impact even within our department, so hopefully this next year will be a great success.

It already started really well this past weekend when we served brats and burgers for the plant sale. Not only did this serve as a small fundraiser for us, but this gave us an opportunity to increase our visibility on campus. Many people stopped to talk and to ask questions, and this was a chance for students to talk about what they do at the Animal Sciences building and to discuss different factors of meat production for human consumption. We also served many grateful volunteers and so what started out as a fundraiser opportunity morphed in a broad-spectrum outreach opportunity which I was very proud to be a part of.

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