Uniting a University FTK
Dance Marathon has touched the lives of so many people, and the students on the University of Northern Iowa’s campus are no exception. With almost 800 students already involved in the organization this year, Dance Marathon represents the largest student-run organization on campus and reaches a significant number of people. For the members of the Campus Relations committee, though, this number could always be larger.
The campus relations committee reaches out to UNI faculty and staff, Greek life, athletics, alumni, and other student organizations on campus to join forces and spread awareness, all for the kids. Standout member Olivia Anderson, a sophomore at UNI, is active in her first year in the committee and second year in Dance Marathon. She says, “When I went to the first meeting, I knew I wanted to get more involved.” Anderson was on the Day Of committee last year. “I just wanted to try as many committees as I could in the short time I have here. I recommend both committees for someone trying to get involved.”
Campus Relations provides unique opportunities for involvement as well as exposure to different organizations on campus. “I thought it would be helpful to incorporate the other organizations I’m a part of to Dance Marathon,” Anderson, who is also the Dance Marathon representative for her sorority, points out. “The committee helps us gain connections with other people in Dance Marathon and other organizations on campus, and it helps us get to know more about the UNI community in general.”
The committee is also taking measures in promoting Dance Marathon on campus and inventing fun ways to ignite interest and participation, whether that be decorating cookies with alumni or making personal invitations for staff members. Anderson notes, “It gives them a special experience with Dance Marathon and gives them an incentive to come to the Big Event, too.”
Much of the work done by Campus Relations all comes down to the process, which, according to Anderson, is satisfying from start to finish. “One minute we were in the meeting brainstorming ideas, then we were creating, then we got to see the finished product,” she says, when referring to the float the committee prepared for the Homecoming Parade. Campus Relations provides an environment tailored to the creative mind.
The family atmosphere of the committee is very evident as well. “It’s always a good time,” Anderson says “We bond and get to know each other [in meetings].” In Dance Marathon, our common goal of helping the kiddos brings us closer as an organization in a big way.
So why get involved? To Anderson, the answer lies in the value of time. She vocalizes, “Any time commitment is totally worth it with the people you meet and experiences you get. The more involved you are, the more great experiences you’ll have throughout the year, and it’s all For The Kids.”