October 11, 2012
I’m ready for the semester to begin now. Wait, you mean we’re already seven weeks in? Around our office, we all seem to have different markers for what marks the kickoff of the semester. For me, it’s our Involvement Expo. Life revolves around that event for the days leading up to it, and once it is past, I can begin thinking about the semester. For others, it is sorority recruitment. For our family programs coordinator, it is Family Weekend. This year, after being sick for a couple of weeks and also working to finish a significant project, I finally feel ready to start this semester.
As I thought about this idea and the craziness that is the semester, I realized how much we live from event to event in the student activities world. I advise our campus programming board, which programs every weekend. Before we finish one event, we are already planning for the next. In the height of the (organized) chaos, I often don’t remember to take the time to reflect on what event we have just done and the impact that it had or how it could be done better until I begin to prepare for it again the next year. When working with students, though, it is important to include this reflection time, as this may be their first Involvement Expo or Family Weekend, or they may not be around to be a part of the planning for next year. I am reminded that I need to be more intentional in this area.
How do you avoid the event-to-event tunnel vision? How do you create opportunities for yourself and your students to reflect?
is the Assistant Program Director Student Involvement at University of North Dakota.
In her position, Missy Burgess has responsibility for advising the University Program Council and overseeing more than 270 student organizations. She has a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville, a master’s degree from Kansas State University, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in educational leadership at the University of North Dakota.