From Oct 25 to 28, the Alma College Union Board participated in the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Mid America Conference in Grand Rapids and won Program of the Year award for a budget under $75,000.“
During the conference, we are able to network with other campus activity boards, professionals, performers, and their agents,” said Molly McCranner (‘19), one of the Heads of Staff of ACUB.
The NACA Mid America Conference gives ACUB the opportunity to share ideas and information between similar organizations across campuses.
McCranner listed off several opportunities available to ACUB due to attending.
“We [went] to about 5 educational sessions to learn all about professional development, creating successful events, and diversity and inclusion.”
“We also [got] to spend a bit of time watching showcases of performers who we are able to book on spot to bring to campus. We [had] so much fun learning from other schools and booking performers,” she said.
ACUB won the Program of the Year award for a budget under $75,000 at the conference. They won this award for their Drag Show event earlier this year.
“The easy answer would be that we put on amazing programs year round, but I think that we won because our event was successful in terms of attendance as well as being progressive in a world that isn’t very understanding of all walks of life,” said Tikilah Turner (’19).
According to Turner, ACUB was distinct from the competition for that reason. “I think that ACUB really shined because we brought that dynamic to campus. It was something that students wanted and needed to experience as well.”
ACUB plans on keeping up the success and running for other awards in the future. “This is the first award we ever put ourselves in the running for and it was a success!” said McCranner. “We plan on holding our staff to high expectations and constantly doing our best to give the student body exactly what they want and a little variety for students to try new things.”
ACUB will also host bigger and better events. “We’re looking to do bigger events next semester,” said Turner. “[We’ll do] about double what we’ve done in the past which is really cool.”
Turner attributed this change to ideas and advice from fellow NACA attendees. “We had the unique opportunity to go to NACA and get some ideas on how to program effectively, but also cost efficiently,” she said. “So I think combining what we’ve learned with what we already have will make it a great semester.”
Some Heads of Staff commented on the NACA experience. “I’m always looking to improve myself as an individual,” said Turner. “This year I was really looking to bring that back to ACUB.”
“It was great to see all these different artists, spoken word poets, craft artists and singers,” she said. “We also had these really cool professional development workshops that talk about how not to burn out with such a stressful schedule and how to get the most out of your program.”
“The biggest benefit [of attending NACA was] that you’re learning so much, but you [had] so much fun you [didn’t] realize you [were] learning,” said Turner.