Are you ready for Homecoming 2012?! (Day 75)

Good evening Argos! We have reached day 75 of Summer University of West Florida Homecoming Planning. I am here this evening to provide some updates as to where we currently stand regarding Homecoming as well as some things to look forward to as we draw closer to the first day of classes. Laura Jansen, Homecoming’s Spirit Chair has finalized one of our competitions that will be advertised via Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to keep your eye on Homecoming’s page throughout the entire week of Homecoming! Furthermore, she has finalized the parade route for this year as well!

Ben Stubbs, our direct advisor has indicated that UWF’s Creative and Marketing Services is continuing work on Homecoming’s logo for this year. I am personally excited to see them bring our ideas and concepts to life. Time will tell. Additionally, Ben has reassured the Executive Board that their Homecoming 2012 polos are indeed in and have been sent off to be embroidered for the up-and-coming photo shoot for the staff’s cardboard cut-outs that will be displayed in various locations around campus! Be on the look-out for the beautiful faces behind UWF’s Homecoming 2012 within the coming months! We have also confirmed that the Homecoming 2012 Staff Retreat will be August 13th and 14th this year.

On Thursday, August 2nd I had the opportunity to sit in on the Student Meeting with the Student Involvement Programming Committee to answer questions relating to staff development, training within my particular position, recruitment for new students, whether I felt connected to the University Commons and Student Activities (USCA), as well as if I felt there was a sense of collaboration between programs, departments, etc. within my specific role within the USCA. I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the rest of the students who sat in with me as well as the three women who were hosting the meeting.
On Friday, August 3rd I had my weekly one-on-one with Ben regarding where we all stand with Homecoming as well as where we need to be over the next couple of days / weeks. With this being said we discussed a variety of items that I have been working on as well as some new things to be completed.

To begin, we conversed about the the display that I have been working on for Homecoming this year. I have a pretty neat idea in mind; I just have to see of the logistics will follow through. Furthermore, we discussed the opening act for our main entertainer, who’s contract happens to have been officially finalized, that would start off the evening strong. We will keep this information a surprise for now, but you will find out soon enough; do not fret! Over this next week I will be creating a Food Document that is pertinent to each of Homecoming’s Events. Essentially it will contain which food we need at what event, how much of it, etc. This document will give us a baseline for what each event will provide (food-wise) to its participants. Some final items that I will / have been working on is keep all of our potential student volunteers informed regarding what is going on and what will go on over the next couple of weeks to a month. Constant communication is key! I will also be sending out information to Homecoming’s web designer, Jason O’Connel, so that we have another outlet for our students to access any Homecoming-related information. This site will pretty much have anything and everything you could want to know about Homecoming 2012.
These are all of the updates I have for now! I hope you all have a wonderful final couple of days of summer.

Remember, we have ONLY 57 Days until Homecoming 2012. GO ARGOS!

The Summer is Drawing to a Close, but the Fun is Just Beginning (Day 69)

Good Morning Argos! I can hardly believe that we have reached the 69th day of Summer Homecoming 2012 Planning. This past week has been full of adventures, organizing, planning, and more. During our weekly Homecoming 2012 Executive Board Meeting (Wednesday, July 25th) we met and discussed a variety of things.

To begin, Laura Jansen, Homecoming’s Spirit Chair provided us with an example application forms for her Spirit Squad, a list of potential prizes to be awarded at each Homecoming event, the calendar of events for the Spirit Squad members, and an example Spirit Attack sign-up sheet. Spirit Attack consists of a group of students (two per group) that sign up to go around the University of West Florida advertising the different Homecoming events and getting everyone excited and ready for Homecoming. There will be a variety of groups throughout each day signed up. If you are interested in signing up, be sure to check out the attached photo to see how everything works, or e-mail Laura Jansen (ljj6@students.uwf.edu) for any questions or concerns that you may have.

Our next update is with Ashlee Mobley, the Associate Director with Homecoming 2012. She has recently got in contact with Sonic, and has expressed they there are indeed interested in working with us for this years homecoming. They even indicated that the company has some ideas for spirit-related activities and that they can provide in-kind donations (food, beverages, etc.). Ashlee also spoke with Eric Ingerman, the University of West Florida’s Technical Operations Coordinator about creating a Homecoming video for her Volunteer Training Sessions that she will be offering for all those individuals who are interested in taking part in Homecoming 2012. Idealistically the video will be completed prior to school starting on August 27th, and each individual section will be narrated, include some form of humor, and by and large informational.

Chris Wheeler, our Logistics Coordinator has contacted the Corporate Office for Panera, is meeting with Nancy Quina in Aquatics about reserving the pool for Homecoming’s Pool Party, is going to be placing a Pepsi products order with Dale (not solely Pepsi), and is planning to meet with UWF’s Athletics Department about renting their tents. During our Homecoming Executive Board meeting we also went over each decorative item that would be present at each individual event; i.e streamers, lights, etc.

Two of the bigger events that we fleshed out were the Homecoming Dance and the Transformation of the Campus. The dance this year, similar to last year, will be broken up into two unique dances that will be held in the UC Conference Center. One room will be the Blue Room and will play Hip-Hop oriented music. The other room will be the Green Room and play Dance, Trance, and Electronica oriented music. Each room will also have its own distinguishable layout and decorations. The Transformation of the Campus consists of exactly what it sounds like; the entire campus will be transformed UWF Blue and Green style. There will be decorative flags, streamers, banners, etc. all over campus to let the UWF student body and the residing Pensacola area know that we mean business!

On another note, on Thursday, July 26th I, as well as Jessica Tweed, Roderick Wilson, Jordan Lore, and Morgan Sellers all presented to one of the Academic Foundations classes that UWF provides for its freshman. We basically presented about Student Involvement, how to get involved, and what were some of the requirements when it comes to getting involved. I, myself, presented on the different facets that go into planning, organizing, and being a part of Homecoming. Overall, this was a wonderful opportunity to have and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with 35 First Time in College Freshman (FTIC).

The final component of this weeks’ Homecoming 2012 update consists of my one-on-one with Ben Stubbs. We discussed getting in contact with several food vendors (i.e. Mellow Mushroom and Pepsi) to see their willingness to work with Homecoming again this year. Furthermore, we went over a new UWF Tradition that we may start this year. I do not want to go over it yet, due to logistical reasons, but it looks like it would be a lot of fun for the student body. Finally, we discussed what the other Executive Board members had been working on over the past week due to Ben not being able to make it to our meeting on that Wednesday. Keep everyone informed of what each other is doing is my goal!

The week of July 30th I hope to acquire the homecoming@uwf.edu account so that we can begin re-contacting all of our potential UWF Student Volunteers on one uniform account (as opposed to our individual student accounts). Additionally, we were able to reach 238 First Time in College Freshman as potential volunteers / workers for Homecoming 2012. I am thoroughly excited to see some of them begin working with us in the Fall!

We only have 63 Days until Homecoming 2012! Be sure to check at our Facebook Page and Twitter Page for more fun summer updates!

GO ARGOS!

Bring the Pieces Together (Day 61)

Good Afternoon Argos! Yesterday the Homecoming 2012 Executive Board held its weekly meeting starting at 12:00pm, where we primarily discussed updates on our Food Vendors, in-kind donations, and Title Sponsors for Homecoming 2012. At this point in time we have 16 potential Food Vendors that have either worked with us in the past or are hoping to work with us now and in the future. Due to this being a lot of places for one individual to contact at once, we have divided it up so that each of the Executive Board Members has at least two-to-three places to call, e-mail, and hopefully meet with. Our challenge is to complete this prior to the Fall Semester beginning.

The next item we discussed were the Title Sponsors that we would like to work with us this year. Ashton Hartley, our Homecoming Director has accumulated a list of seven potential Title Sponsors that he deemed would be great to have. The role of the Title Sponsor would be to make a monetary donation ranging between $1,500 and $3.000. At this point in time Ashton has agreed to conquer the task of coming in contact with all of them.

Prizes are an essential part of any event, thus we have discussed having one big prize per Homecoming event, with several smaller prizes consisting of promo items. We will have to discuss this further with our direct advisor Ben, but I feel that having a big prize attached to an event will allow our students to come to both hopefully win the prize as well as enjoy the experiences tied in with that particular event. During our meeting we formulated approximately seven “big” prizes that would be popular for any individual that would attend.

We currently have an exciting 199 potential Freshman Volunteers for Homecoming 2012. Each of them as been e-mailed more information about how to stay in contact with us as well as potential methods of getting involved. We are just shy of 41 individuals from my personal goal of 250. Fortunately, we have three more Orientation Sessions left.

The summer is winding down. We only have 73 days until Homecoming 2012. GO ARGOS!

 

Sailing Closer to Homecoming 2012 (Day 59)

Good morning Argos! We are currently on our seventh session of New Student Orientation 2012 and are excited to meet and interact with all of our new Argos today throughout the presentations and break-out sessions. As of now we have a total of 181 First-Time-In-College Freshman sign up to potentially volunteer / learn more information about what it takes to be a part of Homecoming 2012! My personal goal is for us to have at least 250 students sign up by our final session (June 26th and 27th).

This morning I wanted to converse about a presentation that Ben Stubbs did at the Florida Student Activities Drive-In on June 1st in Tampa, Florida. The title of the presentation was “Have a new idea? Good luck with that” and it basically focused on considering new ideas from other perspectives within Student Affairs, learning strategies for presenting new ideas, and finding ways to make sure that ‘your’ ideas are judged for their merits. Throughout the presentation Ben utilized memes to poke fun at the fact that at some institutions it is more challenging to implement ideas / a sense of creativity than others. The presentation then proceeds to focus in on The Big PictureResourcesProcedures & Culture, and Opportunities & Liabilities that all go into creating and implementing programs / ideas at a university / institution. From my experience as an undergraduate student working within Student Affairs, I have been fortunate enough to propose various ideas and actually see some of these ideas “come to life”. This is definitely an exception to the norm, taking into account that at other institutes I would not be as lucky.

Back tracking to Homecoming 2012; Josh Kolapo and I are planning to meet this week to discuss his marketing strategy for the Mr. and Ms. UWF / the Princes and Princesses of UWF competition. Facebook will unquestionably be a method of promotion, but we will also be creating posters, fliers, etc. to get the word out to all of our students. Furthermore, I would like to get together with the 2011-2012 Mr. and Ms. UWF students in order to create a video advertisement that shows what they have done since being crowned and where they plan on going next. I strongly believe that being crowned Mr. & Ms. UWF and now Prince and Princess is a wonderful honor to have for any of our students. This year Josh will be planning a Service Project for the winners so that they have an opportunity to give back to the Pensacola / UWF Community; similar to what Ms. America / Universe does.

I can hardly believe that we only have 75 days until Homecoming 2012. With only three weeks left in the summer, I know for a fact that everyone here in Student Activities is looking forward to experiencing all that the Fall 2012 semester will offer!

GO ARGOS!