Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tales from Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight is an opportunity we use to connect with incoming students during their Orientation experience. This is my second summer staffing a RAPP table at Spotlight.

Last year's experience was mostly positive but gave me one rub. RAPP's informational table was placed on the outside of the main path students filter through. Next to us in our "off the path" spot was Ethnic Programs and Services and the African American Cultural and Research Center. I thought it bothersome that such great resources (which I egotistically place RAPP among) were not readily available to students and their parents. I worked with the organizers and eventually was able to move RAPP inside "the circle" (as we called the inner display areas).

Given that first summer's experience, I was wary of it repeating this year. To be safe, I turned in our application the day after they were made available and stayed in close touch with Orientation staff during their training period. The first day of Spotlight I was delighted to find that RAPP had a prime spot deep inside the circle where lots of folks would see us.

At the end of the first week I got bummed out again. I took a wander around myself and found that the AACRC, EPS, and Shades of You were all in the "off the path" spot we'd occupied last summer. Shades of You - a society for women of color - does an excellent job staffing their table and reaching out to the students at spotlight. Since it had taken folks the year before sharing their tables to let RAPP in, I figured the least we could do is share the love.

I'm excited that we now share a table with Shades of You. Their students draw others to our table and their awesome members help break the monotony of the wait for students to arrive. I'm loving our neighbors!

If I remember correctly, several RAPPers were involved in the inception and early years of Shades. If you were a part of that, I'd love to hear your stories in the comments section or by email (send to lehmanrl at uc dot edu).

(pic - our table at Spotlight (sans the laptop o' RAPP videos))

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