Booth boasts dozens of diverse student-led orgs that range from professional to social and have one tying mission: to serve the Booth student body and ecosystem. As Spring Quarter begins, first-year Boothies take the reins and step into the rewarding leadership roles of co-chairing these different clubs and groups. After 2 dynamic quarters at Booth, first year-students already have developed their personal vision for clubs and are presented with a leadership opportunity to influence—a notion that is very much built-in to the Booth culture.
Spring is also the time when second-year Boothies step down from their co-chair roles after a full year of “service,” as they pass the baton to the next generation. In this unique timing, we asked second-years to reflect on the unique leadership role of co-chairing, what it meant to them, and what initiatives they’re most proud of.
Greater China Club
I looked up to the 2017 co-chairs as my role models; they inspired me to continue building the community and become a co-chair of Greater China Club. My proudest moment as a GCC co-chair was the farewell I organized for the second years. It was a three-tiered endeavor that incorporated both exceptional teamwork and a dash of personal creativity. I led an initiative to make handwritten thank-you notes for all departing GCC second years, designed custom GCC t-shirts for the outgoing co-chairs (with hours spent selecting the perfect fonts and palette), and organized an end-of-year feast at Sun Wah where I hand-picked dishes on the menu. Looking back, it was time well spent. I received a flood of texts and emails from second years expressing their pleasant surprise and I will always cherish the tears and laughter we shared together at the farewell dinner (photo of co-chairs wearing the gear is in the header).
I knew coming into Booth that I wanted to be an OUTreach co-chair. As a prospective student, the OUTreach community was incredibly welcoming and a key driver for why I wanted to come here. When I got to campus, they continued to be my primary community and I was so grateful for all the 2Ys’ friendship and guidance I received as a 1Y. Although Pink Party is the most well-known OUTreach event each year, my favorite event is actually National Coming Out Day (which takes place in November). This is because it gives the LGBTQ community a chance to share their powerful, often difficult coming out stories, and shows the broader Booth community why allyship is so important in advancing equality for us. That said, any night spent dancing in Boystown is also a favorite night!
As a first year, Wine Club provided me with a unique opportunity to meet people outside of my class and recruiting circuit while also learning more about wines and wine regions. I applied to be a co-chair of the club to further foster these broader and more casual interactions between Boothies. I am super proud of the co-chair team this year for creating even more opportunities for our diverse membership base to meet and learn about wine, beer, and spirits around Chicago. My favorite initiative this year has been “Explore Chicago,” through which we gather groups of Boothies to explore neighborhoods outside of the Loop and Hyde Park with one-off events at local Chicago businesses like Foxtrot, Moody Tongue Brewery, and Red & White Wines as well as our monthly neighborhood brew tours that feature 3 breweries in a new neighborhood each month!
DStAR (Dean’s Student & Alumni Representatives) was a wonderful experience during my first year as I got to meet alumni from all over the country, bond with my fellow first year students, and gain an understanding of the alumni relations office here at Booth. In an effort to give back to the organization and Booth community, I decided to be a co-chair in my second year. It’s definitely been really rewarding so far, and we’ve had the opportunity to connect Booth students and alumni in some really fun and interesting ways! The event I’m most proud of is definitely the Alumni Angel Award. It’s a chance for us, as students to recognize alums who have had a profound impact on the Booth community, and it’s always so inspiring to read all of the nominations! Through this initiative, we’ve been able to inspire both alumni as well as current students to stay involved and keep paying it forward.
As you can see, the co-chair role has many dimensions, and means different things to different Boothies. The common thread is that co-chairing allows students to follow their passions and interests through leading diverse initiatives that pay it forward both to the student body and to causes they believe in.