Thursday, February 20, 2014

Boston Conference: 4 FSU Students: 5...Student Programming Leaders were taken over by sickness at the National Association for Student Activities Conference!

Nine Frostburg State University student activity members were asked to attend the four day National Association for Student Activities Conference (NACA
in Boston, MASS this past Friday. Little did they know, sickness would take over several of their activity members. By the last day of the conference, four students were or had been sick during the trip. 
            Chosen individuals from Late @ Lane, University Programming Council, Social Marketing Team and Greek Council were invited to attend the conference to find entertainment that would fit with future events planned for the university. The day consisted of three different activities: educational sessions where different issues of event planning were presented by a specific school. This allowed student leaders to communicate with other schools about their problems and possible solutions to others. Secondly, students attended something called the “Marketplace” where entertainment and activity vendors set up booths to talk with students on what they had to offer and their possible discounts for their schools. Along with these events, each day consisted of at least two mainstage showcases. These showcases were for entertainers ranging from singers, comedians, magicians, etc. to perform for students from around the country in hope to be brought back to their school for an event. Each day was a long one as many things were learned along the way. Junior Antwann Harper, Operations Retention and Financing for the University Programming Council stated “I was planning on going to the Marketplace to see graphic design artists, some of whom I had been conversing with before the NACA event. They were willing to do graphic designs for spring events for any school that was interested in a great price.”
            The first day was a great start for Frostburg State. Decisions were made and many new performers were a possibility to bring back to the university. The second night, however, changed the pace of NACA for the Frostburg students. After eating at California Pizza Kitchen, a mysterious flu came upon two roommates in the middle of the night, one from Late @ Lane and one from the University Programming Council. The sickness left them in bed for the next two days. Along with these two roommates, Antwann came upon the sickness that same morning. “I tried numerous times to walk about, and go to parts of the conference, but never made it off of our floor in our hotel.” With three members unable to attend the events that day, it became a responsibility for the remaining healthy students to take over the responsibilities of the others to successfully get the most out of the conference. Junior Casey Licausi was the only healthy member left of the University Programming Council as their VP of Programming. She then took on additional responsibilities on-top of her own. Normally, each member had their own job to complete or a different activity to focus on during the conference. “Since our staff was out of commission, I had to choose between attending the lecture or entertainment showcases, which I decided to go to the lectures. We need to build our lecture program back up, so, that took priority.” Casey also mentioned going to the Marketplace to look for additions that could benefit other events for the University Programming Council such as the annual SpringFest which happens each May.
Just as Frostburg students thought the sickness was kept inside the hotel rooms with the three ill students, another student, junior Whitley Burns started to feel sick the following day. “I was in the middle of listening to an educational session when I started feeling nauseous. I had to walk all the way back to the hotel room sweating and feeling like I was going to pass out.” Luckily, Whitley only missed the remainder of the final conference day.

With a 13 hour train ride back to Frostburg, it left the students a little less than excited. Antwann began feeling better with only having the minimal symptoms, but, three students were still recovering from the illness. Whitley decided to grab lunch for the ride home when she felt sick once again. “I just made myself go to sleep until we got back.” Whether the sickness took over four of the students or the whole bunch, the determined student activity leaders conquered NACA as they made many relationships with new vendors and had great new ideas to bring back to the campus.

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