By Corey Boice
A new Director of Student Activities, Jessica Todd, was appointed this year at Hilbert. Todd is a former graduate assistant for campus safety and campus life at Daemen College. She is young, ambitious, and working to create engaging and inclusive campus activities for the student body here at Hilbert College.
Todd’s first event as the new director was Fish Philosophy. She was there for the entire event helping students get pet fishes, helping students decorate the tanks, and making sure that each student left with a little baggie of food for his or her fish.
When asked how it has been adjusting to life at Hilbert Jessica had this to say, “It’s been great. I love a school with a small-community feel, and I love that everyone is so welcoming and positive on campus. It’s been an easy transition from my previous positions, and everyone has been extremely helpful.”
The Director of Student Activities has a lot to bring to a college campus, but one of the primary focuses is to bring events that are encompassing for all. Todd is hoping to do this by bringing new activities to the campus, as well as new life to the Student Activities Office. She plans to stay away from old events that do not need to be repeated and to bring a more positive change and leadership style to her position.
While on the topic about past events, Jessica did mention that she plans on bringing back Hilbert to Hogwarts. The event has gone over well with the students, but she wants to add a twist to the event that will fit best with the new incoming class and past students. This way, the event is a great and new experience for everyone and not just the first-year students.
Student Activities sponsored a lot of events over the past few months. To list a few, there has been Fish Philosophy, Outdoor Rock Wall Climbing, October-Fest, The Floor Is Lava, and Haunted Hilbert. The events have been going over well with students, and it has prompted the Student Activities Office to keep the flow of events going.
According to Todd, Student Activities is cosponsoring an event with the Student Government Association. They are doing a Netflix and Chill event that will be different than events like it in the past, including inviting Nitro Magic Ice Cream to come on campus so students can enjoy ice cream and movies. The event is taking place on November 14 with the ice cream available in the West Herr Atrium and the movies taking place in Bogel 101. Another event that Todd revealed is a DIY Christmas event so students can make gifts for themselves, significant others, parents, etc. There will be some crafting that will hopefully help students relax before their finals at the end of the semester.
Regarding upcoming events, Todd is very open to diversity and inclusive events. She plans on working with the diversity groups on campus and the Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Office. Last month, the Campus Activities Board, with the help of the Student Activities Office and Multicultural Affairs, brought the magician Ran’D Shine to campus, and he incorporated diversity into his act. By doing this, he made it fun and engaging for the students who attended. Also, Student Activities and the Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Office did a lot of passive programming for Hispanic Heritage Month. The Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Office put out different Hispanic foods last month for students to try, and the Student Activities Office put flyers up on the televisions around campus that had information about different Hispanic countries. For future events, she mentioned that they are considering bringing speakers in for Black History Month and considering activities that are centered around diversity, so the focus is on the diversity itself and it is not being plugged into another event.
Students can discuss event ideas with Todd, and she has a sign on her door where people can write down suggestions. She has had several one-on-one sessions with students since she has been here. When asked about them, she says that it makes her job easier because it helps her relate to the students. Plus, it allows them to open up and discuss their ideas in confidence without the worry of being judged. She enjoys bouncing the suggestions off other students to receive either positive feedback or positive criticism. It is always good to have more than one opinion on an event, because that opens it up to changes that can push the event to be more student-oriented, more diverse and inclusive, or more commuter- and resident-friendly, so everyone can enjoy!
Visit Todd in her officein the Lower Level Campus Center or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.