From Chairperson Angela Tang:
When I applied to be Chairperson of the Power & Privilege Symposium, I was quite hesitant to accept the position. From working on the Symposium the year previous, I knew that there was a lot more work behind the scenes than I could ever fathom or had the skills to do. Fast forward eight months later, and we are only two weeks away from the Symposium. We have a fantastic keynote (Shakti Butler!!) , sponsors, kick ass marketing material, and 52 workshop sessions (all organized and placed in their respective times). I could not be happier. This however, was anything but a one womyn feat.
This year’s process started the second I was appointed the position in May. Genevieve Jones, the previous Logistics Chair, and I created a timeline for all tasks to be done from May of 2014, up to the few months following the Symposium 15’.
In the fall, we formed the Power & Privilege Symposium leadership.
Fun fact: We took the StrengthsQuest strength assessment quiz and I discovered that we had hit the jackpot. Natalie Shaw, the Marketing and Communication Director’s strengths fell into the relationship building category. Dennis Young, the Logistics Director had strengths focused in execution. Annie Want, the Content Director’s strengths lay in development and intellect. My strengths were primarily in strategic thinking. Each of our top leadership strengths directly correlated with our respective roles. Check mate.
Next, students interested in Symposium development were encouraged to apply to be on a planning committee. From there, we formed three separate committees – Content, Logistics, and Marketing. The Content committee started off right away with developing workshops. Campus involvement is integral to the mission of the Symposium, so workshop development was open to the whole Whitman community – a whopping 32 proposals were submitted by early November!
The Logistics committee were placed in charge of coordinating lunch for over 1000 people with Bon Appetit, volunteer recruitment and training, as well as the tedious task of placing 52 workshops each into rooms. Each workshop not only needed rooms that met their AV needs but also rooms that fit size preferences and times that did not conflict with folks who hosted more than one workshop.
Meanwhile, the Marketing and Communications committee were creating awesome designs, tweaks to our logo and branding, managing our website including blogs, creating a promotional video, making posters, sending emails all day every day, designing T-shirts and much much more. Hopefully you’ve been enjoying their posts on our Facebook community and in just a few days you’ll start seeing posters popping up on campus.
It might surprise you, but this Symposium thing costs money! However, we had excellent help from students, staff, and faculty in the fundraising process. We had help from Tim Reed as Budget Officer and Jack Percival as Faculty Liaison. I don’t know what I would have done without these two in the fundraising process. ‘Nuff said.
The support and guidance we received from the Whitman Events Board, ASWC, Dean of Student’s Office, and Katharine Curles & Leann Adams tied this whole project together. Over this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Symposium team cumulatively spent 100+ hours in Katharine & Leann’s offices.
So all in all the behind the scenes experience can be summed up in three hashtags:
My best to you,
Chairperson | Power & Privilege Symposium 2015 |