Four members of the Mansfield Activities Counsel attended the National Programming Conference in Jacksonville, Fla., during spring break.
The six-day conference was held by The Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities and included educational sessions, showcases, exhibits and entertainment.
Amanda Bradley, Matt Kong, David Ilgen and I were the delegates representing MAC at the APCA Nationals, along with adviser and chaperone Steve Plesac.
We were chosen by our Student Activities counsel and voted to go. Who would have thought I would be able to attend such an event? I only had this opportunity because I am a college student attending Mansfield University.
APCA is an association that offers quality and affordable campus activities through its services. Colleges, universities and military bases from all over the United States sent delegates to join the seminar.
There were more than 80 exhibiting vendors, including novelty companies, artists, performers, hypnotists, magicians and motivational speakers.
MAC has been an associate of APCA for five continuous years, attending both National and Regional conferences. During the conference, we were awarded the APCA Emerald Gem.
The Gems are APCAs way of thanking their most loyal members and associate partners. Each delegate proudly wore a Gem insignia on their name tag satchel.
Bradley is treasurer of MAC and was selected as group leader for the conference. She had a lot of responsibility in putting together the trip, from reserving the hotel room to booking the flight.
"APCA was a great experience, not only for me, but for the other delegates as well because we learned a lot in the educational sessions and hope to bring that new knowledge to the Mansfield campus," Bradley said.
The conference wasn't all just fun and games. As MU delegates, we had to attend eight educational sessions, 10 showcases and get signatures from all exhibiting vendors.
Doing so was an option for all universities that attended to qualify for an official APCA Student Programming Conference Participation Certificate. The four of us qualified to receive a certificate.
"Our four students exceeded the minimum requirements," Plesac said.
This is the first time the MU student delegates have returned with a certificate of participation from any APCA event.
This will allow the MAC and university to benefit from our active participation in the conference. Student delegate Kong highly recommended that future MAC members attend an APCA conference.
"Going to APCA taught me a lot about event planning and I got to meet amazing performers like the magician Mat Franco and singer-songwriter Hana Pestle," Kong said.
Ilgen had a new found sense of responsibility for MAC and broadened his views on different acts that can be brought to Mansfield that everyone will enjoy.
"In a personal sense, I got to meet many talented people that I never would have gotten a chance to meet otherwise," Ilgen said.
I found this conference to be self-rewarding as well as enlightening. This trip was an amazing opportunity to gain immense knowledge in many aspects of campus life. I found the educational sessions to be helpful in my part-time job in admissions.
For MAC, knowing what my peers enjoy will make it easier to rate the performances.
One musical performance that pleased me was Anthony Lazar (A.N.T) of Trump Tight Music Group. A.N.T frequently opens for Snoop Dogg and other well-known artists. He is a talent I could see the student body of Mansfield enjoying.
My favorite part of APCA was networking with people like Marc Wayshak, who has a master's degree from Oxford University and a bachelor's degree from Harvard University.
Wayshak is the author of "Breaking All Barriers," a book about helping people achieve their greatest goals. He also is a motivational speaker.
All together, the conference was an outstanding opportunity for the delegates representing MAC. This will reflect in future programs brought to Mansfield by the Student Activities Council.
As a group, we feel that this is something that should be repeated.
It was truly an honor to represent Mansfield University. I don't think I could have made a better choice when choosing Mansfield.
Wray is a student at Mansfield University where she is a tour guide leader and features co-editor of the Flashlight, the student newspaper.