“If I had known I was gonna meet the president, I would’ve worn a tie.” – Independence Day
As an Executive Board member of Bloomsburg University’s student government, the Community Government Association, I have been given so many incredible opportunities. This past February our Executive Board traveled to Texas A&M for the Conference On Student Government Associations, and I attended a great presentation by Kennesaw State University’s Student Government Association titled “Meet the President.” The presentation started by asking for anyone in the room who had met their University’s President to raise their hand. Just about the entire room raised their hand. The presenters then asked for anyone to raise their hand who felt they would have met their President if they were not in a student government leadership position. Only the KSU students raised their hands.
Before the presentation was over, I knew that this was something I wanted to bring to Bloomsburg University. Our Executive Board members of CGA have had the privilege to spend a great deal of time with our University’s President, getting to know him on a more personal level. I’ve often witnessed shocked facial expressions when students see me approach Dr. Soltz in the Commons and casually spark up a conversation. But why shouldn’t all students be able to do the same?
This summer I had the opportunity to work as an intern for Student Affairs. I met with over 30 different offices on campus, brainstorming ideas, and working on projects with many of the university’s administrators. A responsibility of my internship was to “increase awareness and communication between CGA and administrative departments on the Bloomsburg University campus.” But CGA also serves as liaison between students and administration. Essentially this meant that I also needed to increase communication between students and administration. This was the perfect opportunity to bring a Meet the President event to our campus.
I had asked Dr. Soltz if he would be interested in being a part of such an event. He responded that he would be more than happy to do so as long as CGA and myself did all the planning and promoting to get people there. So that is exactly what I did. In July, I began planning out all the details of the event. No one on our campus had ever heard of such an event, so I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me to make it appealing to students.
Students can’t resist free t-shirts, prizes, pizza, Rita’s, and a guest appearance from Roongo, right? We hung hundreds of flyers around campus, made announcements in all of our classes, and plastered promotions for the event all over social media. It worked. We had close to 1,000 students that attended the event. Luckily students didn’t get too caught up in the free food to lose sight of the real purpose, which was to get to know the University’s President and other administrators at the event. There was a non-stop line of students waiting for their turn to talk to Dr. Soltz. CGA, Dr. Soltz and myself look forward to the next Meet The President event!