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Today’s post is just a list of ideas for events that you could run if you were a student executive. I can’t stress enough that not all of these are my ideas. Some of these are events past execs have done, events I’ve heard about, read about, or which emerged from the dark dreaming of ancient gods.  And they’re all pretty well mixed together. In no particular order, you could…

  • Start a lecture series. Book a room and find a professor to give a talk once a month, on anything. Classics, medieval studies, economics, look up professors that have spoken at TEDxUW, or that you’ve had who have been good speakers. All they can do is say no, and out of 1200 faculty members, odds are that you can find someone to come and speak. Make it a brown bag lunch event, and you don’t even have to provide snacks. 
  • Feed a Classicist. Have students (and professors) draw names from a hat and make lunch for each other once a month, at a little party in the lounge or a larger room. Be conscious of food allergies, but take it as an opportunity to introduce students who might never have met, and get them talking.
  • CMS Conquers the World. Go to museums, art galleries, or community events, and set objectives. For a history focus, go to the ROM and have people “conquer it” by taking pictures with certain exhibits. For professional development, make a list of networking events in the area and have people submit pictures of themselves with a new connection they’ve just made. If people are going to conferences, get them to bring back pictures of them with lecturers. Not only is this a lot of fun, but it creates a great photo archive.
  • Life of Diogenes. Volunteer for 5 Days for the Homeless, or go and work with local shelters, and help the homeless and at risk in your community. Places like Out of the Cold are always happy for volunteers, and it’s an incredible experience.
  • Workshop Life. There are dozens of workshops available on campus, and dozens more people looking to set them up. Organize students to go to to development workshops, or work with the Office of Organizational and Human Development or the Centre for Career Action and start your own! Maybe one for looking for non-academic jobs with a Classics degree, or perhaps one on research paper time management.
  • Do traditional things. Get a projector and have a movie night, do a pub night or an end of term dinner. Go to trivia night at the Bomber (I loved to involve the other societies in this by announcing at ASU meetings that we would be there and that they should stay away in order to preserve their dignity). Get together after classes and play board games!
  • One of the really successful holiday things we did was to adopt a family. It’s a wonderful thing to do for someone, and we each gave a little so they could have a Christmas.

These are just some of the things you could do as a student executive. Leave your event ideas or preferences in the comments!

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First, congratulations to Mitch Elvidge and Chris Langlois, who will be the 2013-214 consuls for the Classics and Medieval Studies Student Society! I know you guys will do a job. In the interest of that, and because it’s part of our theme for this term, our next two posts will be about event planning. Events are a big part of running a student society and being involved on campus, and they are invariably more complicated than they seem. That’s the way it should be. If it goes smoothly, no one sees all the hiccups and hurdles. So today, six steps to better event planning, along with some links to resources.

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CMS

First off, welcome back from reading week! I hope you spent it sequestered in your lair, poring over your text books and ensuring your readiness for the finals which loom ever closer, rather than having fun, hanging out, or visiting places that are totally rad. None of that is true. A month ago, I wrote a post about some ways to motivate people to come to events, which can be one of the most challenging things in the planning process. Everyone is busy, after all. With assignments, work, personal stuff…It’s a deep, dark hole down which our time plummets like, well, like a Persian messenger.

Each of the last post’s methods were decreasingly cynical, and were mostly about marketing, developing careful tactics to deliver your message. Today though, I’ll talk about communication instead, and how you, as a person, can develop relationships that lead to better and more well-attended events.

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