In order to bring fun events to ‘Berg, members of the Muhlenberg Activities Council (MAC) got to have a little bit of fun themselves. Four student event coordinators traveled to the National Association For Campus Activities (NACA) conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
MAC Student Coordinator Grace Sellinger ‘23 reflected on the highlights of the conference, saying “I got to see 3OH!3 and We The Kings. There were concerts, hypnotists, magicians, comedians, speakers… there was an electric violinist… A highlight was Aux Cord Wars, a really fun company that plays popular music and plays games with the crowd to win money.” It is events like these that may help fulfill MAC’s mission as Sellinger describes it: “to provide alternative activities to dangerous and harmful choices… but also to have fun. We just want to do fun things that the students would enjoy.”
Along with Sellinger, MAC Student Coordinators Emma Bram ‘24, Hannah Katz ‘24 and Kayla Rivera ‘23 attended the NACA conference from Feb. 17 to Feb. 21, led by their advisor Jonah Adamcik ‘19. Adamcik is also the assistant director of Seegers Union and the student experience. There, they participated in events and conferences that could inform what Muhlenberg’s future, in terms of campus events, looks like. Only four student coordinators attended the conference, but MAC gives everyone at Muhlenberg the opportunity to get involved as to develop a collaborative system of event planning.
“Our meetings are on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. in the Student Life Conference Room and I welcome all to join! My favorite part of MAC has been hearing the ideas from team members. If you have any ideas, questions or comments about MAC, I am happy to listen, collaborate and answer what I can,” emphasized Katz.
The NACA offers multiple conferences throughout the year that connect collegiate activities councils like MAC with vendors, artists and event companies. The NACA convention hall contained a multitude of vendors that supply activities to colleges, such as bouncy houses, carnival rides and stuff-a-plush. Workshops were also offered within the conference, providing insight on practices to keep in mind when planning campus events.
“My favorite part of MAC has been hearing the ideas from team members. If you have any ideas, questions or comments about MAC, I am happy to listen, collaborate and answer what I can”Hannah Katz ‘24
“I personally went to a workshop about how food on campus is super important for retention of the student body and making students feel like they want to be at school,” said Sellinger, reviewing the tips she learned at this workshop regarding inclusion of food in campus events, such as providing a variety of food for different dietary and religious needs. Sellinger continued, “One of the other students that came to NACA went to a workshop about accessibility and equity with programming… saying that there will be a room where there’s no lights or music going on in our flyers, or providing ear plugs if there’s a stereo system. Stuff like that where it seems really simple, but to those who would be benefited by those accommodations, those are really, really important steps for them. And so, MAC going forward is really going to try to implement those kinds of things.”
“I want students to know a few things about MAC. The first being that all of our events are open to all students! I also want people to know that MAC tries hard to create events that the Muhlenberg community would enjoy,” said Katz. The conference’s focus on educating its attendees about inclusive and equitable practices throughout event planning provided MAC members with ideas for tangible change that could take place at Muhlenberg. Although MAC members could not reveal specific plans for performers or activities, they mentioned how NACA presented methods of combining both education and fun, especially in terms of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.
Sellinger said, “We’re thinking a lot about how to appeal to a lot of different interests on campus. And not only interests, but identities. So, not all of our events need to be just silly and fun. Like, queer history can be fun through a bingo or trivia, but it’s also really informative. Mental health [advocacy] can be fun, but also informative through some of the events the vendors put forward. We have speakers we saw that were very charismatic and very funny, but were very informative in the way they were relating to their experiences on their race, their able-bodied status, their gender or sexual identity. It was very enjoyable to watch them, but you learn a lot from them.”
MAC intends to bring back some of the student body’s favorite activities and performances, including tote bags (Mar. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Light Lounge), stuff-a-plush, t-shirts, inflatables, carnival games, circus performers, magicians, comedians and musicians. The activities council is also interested in focusing on events that foster diversity and inclusion, such as companies centered on mental health education and events that feature drag performers. They plan to include both well-known and local drag performers to amplify marginalized voices in the Lehigh Valley community and the work of some Muhlenberg alumni. “Myself and the other MAC team members were really excited and interested in the drag shows,” said Katz. “It was especially exciting to meet Sarah Pasternak [’02], who is the event coordinator for Drag Queen Entertainment.”
“We have speakers we saw that were very charismatic and very funny, but were very informative in the way they were relating to their experiences on their race, their able-bodied status, their gender or sexual identity. It was very enjoyable to watch them, but you learn a lot from them.”Grace Sellinger ’23
Although only four MAC members attended the convention, every Muhlenberg student is invited to MAC meetings and can provide input on activities that may excite and positively influence other students. Sellinger said, “It’s the students on MAC, who put forward the ideas for the events that happen on campus. If you want to see more of something, or you want to see something new or you don’t want to keep seeing certain things happening on campus, become involved in MAC, and you can make a change on campus.”