A Mad March Indeed



by Jimmy Kelly
@jimmy3_k

What a busy past two weeks it’s been!  Between being on call, finalizing a stand-up paddleboard trip, doing student employment updates, and plenty of budget planning the days have just been flying by.  Last week much of my stress was centered on being on call.  At Stetson, we have an On Call Team made up of professional staff within our Campus Life and Student Success Division and I am one of the staff who serves on the primary on call level.  So basically I get a taste of res-life in my job, which is great experience, but duty weeks seem to be pretty hectic.  Balancing my work life and personal life always proves to be much more difficult during this time because, as many of you can attest to, the duty phone can strike at any moment.  

On top of everything else, it’s been March Madness!  The 4th most wonderful time of the year!  I enjoy seeing my newsfeed bottle up with passion and pride from current institutions and alma maters.  I gave my co-worker a hard time because he’s a lifelong Louisville fan and they’ve underperformed in recent years; it pains me to write this but I’ve thought throughout the tournament that this just might be their year.  I’d never let him know that though, too much fun ribbing him.  By far my favorite moment of the tournament has been Florida Gulf Coast University’s (FGCU) run through the first couple of rounds.  My friend attended FGCU and always said that if they made the tournament they’d make some noise, and they sure caught the nation’s heart.  It is always fun to watch an underdog succeed, and with all the coverage from national television, it was easy to see school pride at its finest.

Stetson’s Women’s Basketball Team made the Women’s NCAA Tournament this year too.  It was great to see the pride and vibrancy across campus during the pep rally as we sent the team off.  A big push from our division is to promote vibrancy on our campus.  When thinking of vibrancy you may tend to think of excitement and spirit as well as many things going on throughout the campus that students are able to participate in.  Sports successes can definitely contribute to positive campus vibrancy, and students get caught up in the moment of their institution in the national spotlight.  I can remember being at the University of South Florida (USF) during my undergrad when our football team climbed the rankings to #2; our campus was full of buzz and excitement around the success of our team.  The residence halls emptied into the streets after our upset of Auburn earlier in the year and ultimately paved the way to national attention.  Such vibrancy and excitement can create memories like these and causes students to feel a better connection to the institution.  

I challenge you to think about how your role at your institution plays into the vibrancy of your campus and how you can work to foster more vibrancy and create experiences your students will remember throughout their lives.


Student Affairs - the First Years

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