Off-campus Programing Retreat educates student leaders for 2018-19 events

How does Doobie Palooza book artists for their show? Does DCGA fund the food available at the Fall Gala? How can one start planning their own event for Denison?

CLIC employee and Denison alum of 2004, Trinidy Jeter had all the answers this past weekend as student leaders took to Salt Fork Lake Lodge for the Denison Programming Retreat.

The answers are simple. The Doobie puts together an idea of who they want to book, go through several different Denison liaisons, agents and eventually the artist to strike a contract, Denison Campus Governance Association (DCGA) does not fund food for events and to plan your own event you need to start with a budget. However, what the student leaders of groups such as Outlook, University Programming and Denison Democrats discovered, is that there is a lot more that goes into Denison’s favorite events.

The purpose of this retreat was to not only inform those who put on programs about the necessary work for a successful event, but to also generate and share ideas for future collaborations at Denison.

“We’re only staying one night but who knows what could come about,” Jeter told the group upon arrival. “The organizations in this room represent about $500,000 of the budget, so there is a lot of responsibility that comes with that.”

From team building to discussions of community engagement to building the bases of programs for the next school year, the group was well informed.

With Owen Crum ‘20 available to answer budgeting questions, students were able to figure out what they could and could not request for budgeting. Almost everything can be put into a budget, except for food and potential gifts, which DCGA will not fund.

Student organizations are also most likely not going to get all the money they asked for, in order to avoid debt. However, collaboration with other organizations could increase the likelihood of full funding because it shows a unification of organizations and engagement in community.

“Not only did ETC provide powerful and imaginative presentations, but we were able to dig deep into the budgeting process to better serve the student body,” said Crum, a history and religion double major from North Carolina. “It was an encouraging weekend as there were people who genuinely care about what goes on at Denison.”

Other benefits of the retreat was the presentation from students who shared advice on different aspects of programming. For example, Karan Sethna ‘20 discussed contracting with guests. Often times when booking an artist or speaker, the organization hosting said person will have to pay for their meal, housing and transportation.

Meanwhile, Callie Pace ‘18 shared the best way to promote event that grabs attention and Monica Starr ‘20 and Gregg Watson ‘18 advised on what the best timeline for setting up a program looks like.

Not only are these students gaining knowledge and developing relationships with other organizations, they are also learning skills that will benefit in the working field.

At the end of the retreat, students left with more ideas for the next year. The events that are planned by the people in attendance include D-Day, Gala, speakers on campus, Doobie Palooza and more.

The students who chose to go on this retreat did so because they believe in providing the best experience at Denison. In a sense, they are doing this for their peers and the community surrounding Denison.

The idea of the retreat was everyone is only here for four years. So, be here for these four years and make the best of it. Students are now looking to bring students together on campus and be the change in the community that reminds people why they originally chose Denison.