By Lam Ho
“See you out there!” The phrase defines Sewanee’s main catalyst for non-Greek campus and student activities: The Board. Led by Dean Hagi Bradley in 2012, the University experienced the revitalization of student activities when the Dean of Students helped reestablish the student activities board. Today, named The Board, the organization led by InSoo Lee (C’17), Kate Harper (C’16), and advisor Kate Stucke provides students with “an alternative choice in having fun instead of just staying in their residence halls,” according to Lee.”
We want to see students out there meeting new people while having a fun time and making the most of their Sewanee experience,” says Lee. This year, the organization has already hosted a number of cooking classes, a free screening of Inside Out, tie-dyeing on Spencer Quad, a freshman mixer, a trip to the Chattanooga Aquarium and to Jump Park, and jewelry making classes, among others. The events cover a wide range of interests, introducing new friendships over shared experiences and hobbies. Over the past two years, The Board has made immense progress in shaping the lives of college students — but there’s more up their sleeves. Their upcoming events this semester include a bonfire with s’mores, crafting the perfect martini, massages, the Christmas tree lighting, and more. Like the many they have already completed, they involve behind-the-scenes work from all members of The Board. Lee’s role puts emphasis on this responsibility of the members: “[As cochair] I have naturally come to take a more logistical side to the Board. I communicate with our members to Kate as well as getting them up-to-date on meetings and events making sure that all our events have an adequate number of volunteers.”
“See you out there,” the phrase coined when The Board was reshaped has not confined the organization’s events to off campus activities, but includes accessible activities on main campus, like tie-dyeing on Spencer Quad, which The Board hosted on October 14. Cameron McLauchlan (C’16) thought the event was a “quick study break” for those looking to relieve some stress without giving up hours of their time for a trip to Chattanooga.
McLauchlan, a member of The Board, recognizes the versatility of the Board’s events and trips: “There are times where we bring events to Sewanee, but I also think we complement those events with sponsoring ones that take place off campus. As hard as I try sometimes, I have yet to spot a penguin here at Sewanee. That’s okay because we offer trips to places like the Tennessee Aquarium where you can see penguins. I think we succeed in creating unique events and sometimes that involves doing some traveling. It’s pretty cool to think that this organization and its great members can create these events both on and off campus.”
The Board also contributes to significant events during party weekends. McLauchlan says, “In particular, the success of the Sugarhill Gang concert during Fall Party last year really made this organization stand out to me. Its growing presence and my desire to be more involved on campus led to me getting involved with this organization. The Board has shaped my experience here at Sewanee because I learned that the words ‘there is nothing here to do’ cannot be applied to Sewanee. It also puts on so many events all ranging from something like getting a massage on campus to cooking lessons at Crossroads. These events make me realize how the Sewanee experience is so heavily based on the Sewanee community.”
The creativity and drive behind The Board’s work explains the overwhelming number of activities students can participate in every day. By engaging a variety of interests and people, the organization has successfully provided a place for each person to pursue some form of fun in his or her free time. The fun behind the activities reveals a more significant part of the Sewanee experience, which involves meeting people outside of niches created by majors and sports, instead cultivating a sense of community based on common interests and, most importantly, a sense of adventure.
If people have an interest in the Board, applications are currently available and are due on November 16 at midnight. If you have questions, email InSoo Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kate Stucke (email@example.com).