What a Wild Week it Was

by Jimmy Kelly

So this past week has been a wild ride; FOCUS (Stetson’s new student orientation) has been going strong since last Saturday, and in that span our department has hosted 3 major events – 2 being late night. And that doesn’t event include tonight’s Race to Rave event, which is sure to be a smash hit! What sounds better than a 1-mile run with obstacles and lit by glow sticks, followed by a late night glow stick pool party?! Nothing! On top of all of that, we finished training, managed check in, and I coordinated move in. Yeesh, I’m exhausted just thinking about it. The good news is that my adrenaline hasn’t crashed yet so I’m still riding on that sleep deprived energy thanks to a little candy called Smarties. We’ll see how I feel on Saturday and Sunday. It’s exciting to see the hours and days of training working with my student staff; their customer service has been top notch, and they’ve had a successful first week implementing our Fitness Assessment program that allows students to gauge their current fitness level and to track their progress.

There’s a vibrancy throughout campus environment that is contagious. Students have been super pumped to be back on campus and the professional staff is full of an energy that is astounding. One of the Stetson traditions from the opening welcome ceremony is that various staff, faculty, and students share their “My Hatter Moment.” They share their favorite Hatter moments throughout their time at Stetson to epitomize what it means to be a Hatter. In these moments are traces of Stetson’s values; it’s an awesome tradition that provides perspective on how the institutional experience has had a profound impact on their time at Stetson.

My Hatter Moment came this past week following a tragic incident in our facility; first of all, I was extremely proud of how my students responded to the situation as they followed through the proper protocol for handling the situation. What stood out even more for me was the fact that off duty student staff members who just happened to be in the facilities assisted with managing everything. They could have easily stood back and let those who were scheduled to work handle everything, but they saw their help was needed and didn’t hesitate. Seeing the students come together to support one another in a crisis shows the level of character and commitment and level of respect that these students have for one another.

As you head into a brand new academic year, I challenge you to reflect on your “moments.” Reflect on moments that truly impacted your experience and time in college, about times that make you smile, moments that make you laugh, moments that make you cry. Think about what made these moments special and how you felt. Make it a goal to strive to make students feel that same way during your moment. Most of all, enjoy your professional moments, they’ll remind you what makes this the best profession in the world.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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