NACA Mid America: Pam’s View

This year was my first time attending a NACA Conference, and to be honest, I didn’t really know what it was before I got there. I have been a part of Student Activities Council since my freshman year and I have heard it being mentioned several times before, but it was never really explained in great detail. All I knew going into this experience is that you got to watch comedians and musicians and get lots of free stuff. NACA however, is so much more than that. This was a really amazing opportunity that I will never forget. It has made me a better person, and a better leader.  I hope to apply what I learned at NACA to my position as Special Events Coordinator for Student Activities Council.

We woke up bright and early to make the five hour drive to Peoria, IL for the conference. I had never been to Peoria either so this was a lot of firsts for me. When we got to the convention, there were so many other schools already there. The kick off was first and people kept talking about a marketplace, Ed. Sessions, and so many other things that it was a little overwhelming. But I quickly got into the flow of things and it was so much fun! We didn’t waste any time getting right to the acts. We saw so many comedians and so many musicians just on the first day! I eventually found out that the market place is where you can meet the acts that performed that day as well as so many others. You can also meet different companies that offer novelties and other activities that you can bring back to your campus. You can even book events that very day. I have never seen so many SAC worthy activities all in one place! I wanted to bring everything back to our campus! Thankfully, we got to go the marketplace several times each day, since there was so much to see! After the first day, I didn’t really have any ideas yet about next semester, but I was definitely excited about what the next few days would be like! At the end of the conference, we found several really awesome events to bring to campus that we have never brought before, and we couldn’t wait to show the general members what we found.

My favorite part of NACA would have to be the Ed. Sessions on the second day. There were several different topics that we could choose from and Gene and I chose to go to ones about leadership and creating icebreakers. The ice breaker sessions were fun because we got to participate in several games and creative activities that I definitely want to incorporate into next semester’s meetings. The most influential sessions however, were the ones about leadership. I was so inspired during these sessions. We did several activities to figure out what kind of leaders we are, and how we can positively influence those around us. Gene and I even broke a wooden board with our bare hands! I can definitely take away a new found motivation from this experience that I want to bring to the new meetings next semester. I know starting off as Special Events Coordinator during the middle of the year is tough, but I want work hard to bring great events to school and to inspire those that attend our meetings to get more involved and let their voice be heard. I really want to be a good leader and these educational sessions gave me a lot of great tools that I can use. I am very thankful for everything I was able to learn.

During the conference, we also had an opportunity to meet with different schools to learn about what they do with their organizations. I never knew there were so many variations of SAC! There was Campus Activities Board, Student Activities Group, Student Activities Board, and so many more! This was a great opportunity because we got a lot of new and innovative ideas from all of the different groups about how they run their organizations and what works and what doesn’t work for them. Everyone was so friendly and so helpful. It was really encouraging to see so many people from so many different schools be so excited about campus activities. It is hard to put into words everything that I have learned, but I can guarantee that next semester will be the next semester ever!

After starting NACA with a very vague idea of what it was, I left with new knowledge about myself as well as our own Student Activities Council. It was the craziest, most fun convention I had ever been too, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I got hypnotized, held a snake, got my face painted, and met a lot of really cool people in just a few days. I also got to know our own SAC members a lot better. We all bonded during the conference, and made lasting friendships that are very important to me. I am really thankful for getting to know everyone and being able to spend so much time with them. It is an exhausting couple of days but I would recommend NACA to anyone who is in Student Activities Council or is just curious to see what it is all about.  I am so excited for next year for a new delegation to get to go; you won’t regret it! I feel like the possibilities are endless after the energy and spirit we saw at the conference, and I can wait to bring that same energy back to campus. Thank you NACA!

Written by Pamela Avila

From the eyes of Laura: NACA

Before this semester I had never heard of NACA. To be honest, I didn’t even know what it stood for until halfway through the conference (National Association for Campus Activities, BTW). When I first heard about the opportunity I thought, “I guess I might as well go.” Once I’d heard we would have to apply to go I thought, “Forget that! There’s no way I’ll get picked as a first year member.” Fortunately, the next day my outlook had changed and I decided I would never know if I didn’t at least try; boy am I glad I did!

Even after being chosen to attend and working out transportation and such, I was still unclear as to what NACA really was. I knew that we would find acts to bring to Southeast, but I was just expecting kind of a Welcome Back Picnic experience where you walk around aimlessly for a little while. The start of the conference on Thursday was a bit confusing, but by the end of the night I finally understood what NACA was: Pure Awesomeness.

In my three days of NACA, I got to see numerous performers including musicians, comedians, hypnotists, magicians, and poets. I got to meet tons of cool people and interact one-on-one with the performers and which allowed me to know them beyond the stage. Not only were we provided with a venue for discovering acts, but we were provided educational opportunities to better our organization. I attended sessions that taught how to vamp up attendance or market our events. Oh, and lets not forget all the free stuff!

Of all the ed sessions I attended, my favorite was the Energize! Session I went to with Jenna. We shared ideas on how to bump up spirits within your organization, but most of these ideas can be implemented in other ways. Many of the people in the room liked our use of SAC Socials and were going to begin using them in their own organization. From the other groups we learned new and inventive ice breakers as well as reward systems to help increase participation.

After seeing so many performers, it is hard to pick out a favorite. Everyone had something different to offer. My favorite of all the Lectures was the Live Group Sex Therapy Show. He got the whole crowd involved and having fun, but still left us with a good message. I also have to give a shout-out to the boys of the FreeStyle Funny Comedy Show because they brought me up on stage. They were a lot of fun to interact with (and I won their game). I must admit that Gene caught me crying during Seabird’s “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful?” I was also blown away by the angelic voices of Emily Hearn and Nick Howard. Of all the special acts, I would have to say that the hypnotists were my favorite and I most enjoyed Chris Jones during the Special Event Showcase.

I really enjoyed watching all the performances and am making great use of all the free items I collected, but my favorite thing of all was the people. It was good that we could see a sample of the performers’ shows during the showcases, but getting to talk to them and find out who they really are was an amazing opportunity. Not only did we meet the performers, but we got to meet people from other schools and share the aspects of our organizations. Spending four days with my fellow SAC delegates was a blast! We all became much better friends and made a lot of great memories together.

I am so glad that I was given the chance to go to NACA. I hope to be able to attend again next year, possibly as a volunteer. To anyone who is considering going to NACA, or any other conference for that matter, I urge you to go. Getting away from the school for a few days and discovering what is beyond the hills of campus can only better you. Take advantage of any opportunity you can.

Author: Laura Kaimann (lrkaimann1s@semo.edu)

Welcome to the Family

As an incoming transfer student I naturally have attended opening week events previously. The prospect of free collectibles for our dorms, and the allure of free food and entertainment cause us to flock to these events to ravage all we can. I transferred from a community college where I knew half of the students there because I had either attended high school with them or we shared mutual friends.

I never fully understood the true purpose of opening week events until I transferred to Southeast this fall.  That first week, we are all thrown into an ocean of opportunity, challenges, and new experiences; the only problem is that none of us have any idea how to swim yet. Southeast, on the other hand, sets itself apart from others by making sure that students have every opportunity to try new things, and encourage students every step of the way to get involved.

Experiencing opening week at Southeast opened my eyes to all the opportunities available to me, and all the people I shared similar passions with. Although I myself am naturally shy, the students at Southeast made me feel welcome, and were driven to make my first year something to brag about. I got over my fear of stepping outside the box I had created for myself and began to create a new more open world by welcoming any new friends and experiences. Which is why I joined SAC (Student Activities Council) and honestly it was the best decision I have made at Southeast so far. They welcomed not only me, but also any student who wants to be a part of the SAC family (you will definitely feel the love!) So I encourage and challenge all of you to be a part of any student activity, and attend as many programs and events as you can!

Author: Michael Valadez (mdvaladez1s@semo.edu).

Getting involved at Southeast

A few weeks ago I was reading the article Find your place by joining a campus organization from the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and it brought back a lot of memories. I’ve got to begin this post by saying, although very cliche, getting involved on campus was one of the smartest decisions I’ve made in my life.

As an incoming freshman, I was very shy; some would even go as far to refer to me as timid.  Here I was, a fish out of water (in a big sea of 1000+ other fish out of water) trying to figure out this whole college thing. As someone who wasn’t really involved in a lot in high school, I was hesitant to join any student organizations.

Like everyone else, I attended the Welcome Back Picnic and pushed and shoved my way through the crowds, collecting cups, pens, shirts and like 9 back-scratchers. I ate some food and enjoyed the tunes of the a capella group provided by Student Activities Council. It was at this event that I found my group of choice. Everyone at the SAC booth was smiling, friendly, and their energy (and free stuff) drew me towards their booth. Even though the line was ridiculously long, I waited and was welcomed with open arms and encouraged to attend their meetings which began the following week.

Long story short, I ended up with a position as a coordinator, and ultimately served as President during the 2012-13 school year. Getting involved my freshman year helped to shape me into the person I am today. It’s connected me to students and professional staff throughout the nation. Through SAC I’ve been able to travel to conferences around the country, and was recently selected for the position of the Student Advisory Group Facilitator and sit as a non-voting member on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Campus Activities.

This post, although obviously written to encourage you to look into joining Student Activities Council, was written with one goal: at least make you consider joining a student organization, whether that be a political, religious, a fraternity/sorority, or a programming organization like SAC.  You can find a list and contact info for the more than 150+ student organizations at Southeast HERE. According to Michelle Welter, associate director of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Kimmel Leadership Center, “Studies show that students who are engaged in campus life feel connected to the university, get better grades and persist to graduation.” SAC has become more than just a group of people, I’ve met some of my best friends in SAC. The members of SAC have become my other family.

SAC Membership Spring 2013Interested in joining Student Activities Council? You can join us for meetings on Tuesdays at 7pm in the UC Redhawks Room. For those unable to make our meetings, we also send out minutes after all of our meetings! You can also download our mobile app SEMOSAC, follow us on Twitter at @semosac, and Like us on Facebook at fb.com/semosac to stay up to date on everything SAC!

Want more info, but not ready to make the jump? Fill out the form below with any questions you may have, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Author: Trevor Mulholland (tpmulholland1s@semo.edu)

How we pick ‘em

Students are constantly asking us about how we decide to bring the acts we do. We’re hoping that this post gives students a little more insight into how an interest in a particular act becomes a performance by this artist at Southeast.

Before we get started, there are a few things to note:

NACA is the National Association for Campus Activities. This group puts on regional conferences in the fall, and a national convention every spring. Students and advisors from colleges and universities from across the nation gather to attend educational sessions, network with agents, artists, and fellow students/advisors (and here’s the important part) watch acts. NACA is where we discover the majority of our acts.

Many people ask us why we don’t bring people like Carrie Underwood and Justin Bieber. Last time we checked (and we did check because you all were asking), Justin Biebers fee for just the performance was over $500,000 (this was two years ago). That not including advertising, costs to book a venue, staffing, security, catering, etc. The list goes on and on.

So back to the process…

1) We gauge student interests on who or what they would like to see at Southeast. This includes everything from musicians, magicians, films & lectures, or special events like a hot air balloon or an ice rink. Curious about this? Click this link to see a picture from our hot air balloon event in the spring of 2013.

Something to keep in mind- if you aren’t at our meetings to give us your feedback, or you don’t send us ideas via email or social media, we don’t have the ability to read you mind! (That would be really awesome though.)

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2) Our coordinators then take the information that was gathered and begin their research. They find clips of all of the performers and review them. They gather information about prices, and riders (what the artists requires beyond payment, i.e. food, transportation, etc.) and put all of that information together. If they have a committee, they review the information with them and narrow the list (keep in mind how many musicians, magicians, films that are out there.)

3) Delegates from SAC attend NACA conferences and add more acts to the list (if the delegation agrees, sometimes acts are booked while at the conference using a process known as Block Booking.) This process allows us to partner with schools located in our same geographic area and save us all money (allowing us to bring more acts, or purchase more of a novelty).

4) After everything is compiled and reviewed one more time, it is brought to the SAC General Body to be voted on. Only students with voting rights are allowed to actually vote (voting rights are obtained after attending two events and three meetings).

5) One would assume that the process would end here… After the group votes and selects the final choices, the coordinators contact managers/agents and find out about all of the important stuff (like if the act is even available).  If they are, the contract makes its way through various university departments and is finalized and BOOM! Months later (We always book a semester in advance), after many long hours of work, the act shows up and performs for us.

Interested in more information about Student Activities Council, the booking process, or becoming a coordinator?  Email sac@semo.edu.

Author: Trevor Mulholland (tpmulholland1s@semo.edu)

Welcome to our WordPress

You all have stepped up in the world of social media, so we’re stepping up and jumping on the WordPress train!

Welcome to the blog of the Student Activities Council at Southeast Missouri State University.

Check out the 2013-14 Executive Board below:

President:                                             Anna Kauffmann

Vice President:                                     Angela Jacobs

Admin. Assistant:                                Tim Rosemann

Music Coordinator:                             Kynli Smith

Films & Lectures Coordinator:          Tyler Rosemann

Special Events Co-Coordinator:        Ben Mulholland

Special Events Co-Coordinator:

Comedy Coordinator:                         Kayla Mengwasser

Graphic Designer:                               Steven Amrhein

Social Media:                                        Trevor Mulholland

Historian:                                              Jenna Wehner

Watch for regular updates- we’ll post the links on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

You can also now get the SEMOSAC App in the Apple and Android Stores!