Half the challenge of working through the disciplinary process is getting to the heart of the issue and determinng the truth. Right now that is the weekly quote posted in the Student Life Office. It makes me pause and think about how perceptions can get in the way of the reality we are working with. I hope you enjoy this quote as much as I do! Enjoy!
Every month the entire residence meets together for some roudy madness after night class. Because of that I’ve gained some ideas for some pretty awesome events for a large group of people. 🙂 For anyone else who plans events for a large group of people – for elementary school, youth group, high school, college, university, grandma’s birthday party … this is for you!
Here are some big event ideas:
I just hosted this in September. If there are rules that need to be followed, one way to portray them is to get your leaders to create a funny video. Just a five minute intro video establishes who the leaders are, what is expected of the larger group, and gets everyone laughing.
Separate into groups – we called them “All Rez Groups” and have them come up with their team name and a creative way to introduce the members of their group to everyone else. Give them twenty minutes and when you come back, sit back and enjoy!
Food! – I had doughnuts for everyone. It’s an easy thing to portion control, not too much clean up, and a pretty cheap per person snack!
Rent a popcorn machine or cotton candy machine (often for just 80 bucks!) – hang some cute triangle streamers and create your own old fashioned photo booth. Then have DIY games set up around the room and end the night with a “strange talent” contest where students can show off any bizarre abilities!
Luau in Feburary!
Who says you can’t celebrate tropical favourites in the winter? Provide leis, plenty of tropical fruit and smoothies, and decorate your heart out! This event can be great for a couple reasons:
1) It stops the overwhelming Valentines theme from taking over every event the students participate in
2) Is a great time to talk about summer programs, hold a job fair, review applications. For some students the ability to return to school in the fall is dependant on summer employment – give them the tools early so that they can find great summer positions!
Whose Banquet Is it Anyway?
The students came up with this event. After a formal banquet students love some entertainment, but if a dance isn’t your thing, or is over done, an improv night might be perfect for you! Set up tables, provide tons of dessert and get one of your outgoing leaders to prepare some “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” games. It’s a ton of fun for those who love participating in improv, but also tons of fun for those who just want to sit back and watch!
(R)evolution of Gaming
This is a fun event that draws in a huge demographic. It’s as easy as getting card and board games Twister, Settlers of Catan, RISK, Monopoly, Dutch Blitz, but also setting up Super Nintendo, Wii, Halo, Rockband and getting everyone together. You may want to introduce a Euchre tournament or a Round Robin for some of the games to get people competitve and meeting other people.
I will be adding more to the list of Big Event Ideas later on! Do you have any events that you’ve loved in the past? Leave a comment and let me know!
Confessions From a Residence Director on Move-In Day
How is it possible that the day has arrived? Move in day. When every parent feels anxious, every student feels both nauseous and invigorated and the Residence Director, Lord have mercy, is about to pee her pants.
Oh and I have been there. (Quick clarification, no, there hasn’t been any literal pants -wetting yet in my career). I absolutely love having students on campus, and feeling the energy that they bring, but it is the day I’ve been working toward all summer.. it can feel like jumping off a forty foot cliff into water below. You know it’s going to happen, but as you work up the courage to face the challenge you suddenly feel like screaming like a small child.
If you are an event planner, teacher, construction worker, florist … you name it … I am sure there is some aspect of your job that allows you to relate.
So I have assembled a list that in my experience, helps me in the crunch time:
- Breathe and smile – both activities remind you to do what your body already wants you to. Just relax and little bit and remember to see the joy in what you are doing. Sometimes the stress can overshadow the fact that I absolutely love what I do. Smiling through it is key.
- Communicate: With your team? Your boss? The students? Sure – but what I am actually referring to is communication with the dear ol’ parents. After an entire week of never answering a phone call due to your brain almost imploding, right during move in is right when they’d call to make sure you’re still alive.
- Watch a hilarious viral youtube video the day before: Strange? Well, today I found that constantly quoting, “Ain’t nobody got time for that” over and over with my students was the best way to beat the stress. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Watch this with student leaders – the remix will get stuck in your head guaranteed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udS-OcNtSWo
- Don’t assign someone to live in a kitchen: Yup it happens to the best of us .. and by that I mean .. it happened to me last year. I have my excuses, but in the end a student was led to the kitchen by a helpful RA, and immediately escorted that student back to me. I’m sure later on he realized that living in the kitchen might have been great for all nighters, but he was okay that I assigned him somewhere else last minute instead.
- Surround yourself with awesome people: Amazing student leaders, student services staff, and fantastic students and parents made everything run really smoothly. What would I have done without them?
So that is my list of how to get through the epic work days.
What are the ways you cope through the “that day is TODAY?” kind of days?