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Presidents learn how to tap into resources

Sept. 18, 2003

By Erin Wigtil, reporter

Student organization presidents gathered Wednesday to make sure they can handle anything from working with alumni to ordering a tray of Aramark cookies.

Organization presidents had the opportunity to network as well as receive vital information from the student activities department.

Martha Howell, coordinator of student services, put together the Student Organization Summit in order to equip student organization leaders for the 2003-2004 year. Any organization that did not have its president attend the summit will not be recognized by student activities, and therefore will not have its activities approved.

'We want student organization leaders to walk away with the resources they need to benefit their organizations,' Howell said.

The student leaders were treated to dinner and then went through a series of four breakout sessions. The information presented at these sessions, which were brief dissertations followed by discussion, included legal issues, fund raising, alumni promotions and general student activities services.

'We had the dinner in order to show our appreciation for all that student organizations do for the Baylor campus,' Howell said.

Howell said what the organization leaders walked away with depended on how well they listened, interacted and asked questions during the discussions.

'The sessions were set up to create dialogue,' Howell said. 'We didn't want to just present information to the organizations' leaders.'

Linda Ricks, a marketing program manager for Baylor, was one of the presenters at the summit. Ricks covered how to use Baylor Dining Services for fund-raising events.

'Student organizations need to know who to contact for food services and how they can get their requests approved,' Ricks said.

Ricks also covered policies regarding advertising events where food services are provided and how to order food service for meetings students are planning.

'I wanted each organization to be educated in and understand who they need to call in order to make their events successful,' Ricks said.

Alumni promotions was another area where student presidents received information beneficial for their organizations.

Howell said a lot of student organizations, especially outside of sororities and fraternities, do not tap into alumni resources. Rishi Sriram,coordinator of the young graduate network, gave the leaders information on how his office can help these organizations network with alumni for fund raising and support.

Suzanne Pyne, a Katy senior and president of Delta Delta Delta, said it was important to have all organizations come together and get on the same page and represent Baylor.

'We all get so busy with our own organizations, but it's good to communicate between organizations and find out what's going on in each one,' she said.

Pyne said the information she received at the summit would be introduced to the members of her sorority through a weekly newsletter and announced in the weekly chapter meeting.

'We have an officer meeting before the chapter meeting where we address different issues like these,' Pyne said.