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2015-02-12_16-48-34

Fresh Starts Don’t Happen Alone

Fresh Starts Don’t Happen Alone

Ryan Pugliese’s middle school experience was a collection of negative moments leaving him ostracized with barely anyone he could call a friend. Being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age 2 didn’t help as it made it difficult for him to establish relationships like people normally do. Needless to say, when he graduated from 8th grade, he was ready to leave his old self and life behind. For Ryan, starting high school was a chance for a fresh start and a chance for him to create a better experience than he did in middle school. Like millions of students each year, Ryan was excited to write a new chapter in his life. Ryan started his first day of High school with a big smile and open heart. As the day went on, however, every attempt to make new friends fell short […]

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What If You Talked to One Stranger a Day?

What If You Talked to One Stranger a Day?

On Friday, Tom had an awesome opportunity to do the last interview with Marsha Herman-Betzen, the retiring executive director of ACUI, during her final keynote. It was a really epic opportunity and great time, and Tom and the audience learned something very interesting about Marsha. She makes it a point to talk to strangers everywhere, all the time. She said it drives her husband crazy – but it has led to some amazing stories, opportunities, and experiences. Probably one of the most inspiring stories she shared was about the day she saw a group of nuns boarding their plane. Naturally, being Marsha, she started chatting with one of them. In this conversation, she found out that they didn’t have a ride to get where they needed to go after the plane landed.  And so, she offered these nuns a ride. Fast forward to a […]

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Tutus and Student Government – A Student Leader Spotlight

Tutus and Student Government – A Student Leader Spotlight

We are always meeting student leaders who are going the extra mile to make others feel welcome and build community culture on their campuses. We realized that one great way to learn from each other is to spotlight different students who have made an impact on the lives of their fellow students. Meet Amairani Ayala, a student at the University of North Texas at Dallas. She’s an Accounting major and the Records Officer of The Student Government Association on campus. We asked her about the the things she loves on campus and how she gets others involved.   What’s your favorite campus tradition? My favorite campus event is the UNT Dallas Tutu Run. We first held this run this past October for Breast Cancer Awareness month so it is not a tradition yet, but we’re trying to make it one. It is my favorite because it […]

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The Value of Campus Traditions and Student Engagement

The Value of Campus Traditions and Student Engagement

On a foggy Thursday morning, Ricky K. of Casswell Drive stumbles out his front door with a coffee in one hand and a tiki torch in the other. Slowly, Ricky shuffles his feet towards the curb soaking in the morning dew. Once at the curb, Ricky takes a deep breath in, while lifting his tiki torch high in the air, and then victoriously slams it firmly into the soft ground. As he walks back towards his house, a neighbor yells from across the street, “Oh a tiki! See you tonight.” Ricky turns and smiles. To you and I, the tiki tradition of Casswell Drive means nothing, but to the folks of Casswell Drive, it means an open invitation for anyone to come by after work and enjoy some food, drink, fun and friends in the backyard. The tiki rules are […]

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Epic Dance Floor Theory Video at Baldwin Wallace

Epic Dance Floor Theory Video at Baldwin Wallace

  We love it when we form a really great relationship with a school. Baldwin Wallace University is one of those schools; we have done Dance Floor Theory there several years in a row now. Each time is a blast. Kathy Petras, the Assistant Director of Student Life at BW put together this great video below of footage from Tom’s programs. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did! It’s kind of awesome for the SK team to watch it from the other side of the camera.

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Creating a Welcoming Culture – The Orientation Moment I Won’t Forget

Creating a Welcoming Culture – The Orientation Moment I Won’t Forget

Hey SK family! Sabina here, and today I am reminiscing on my Orientation at Fordham University. I was a big-eyed, unsure but excited freshman. Ready for my new adventure at my dream school, but aware of my inexperience, I remember walking into an alcohol ed session one evening of orientation. I entered the big room full of tables and new students, scanning the situation to find where I was supposed to sit. I was looking for cues of what I was supposed to be doing at all, as orientation is often a whirlwind of AM I SUPPOSED TO BE HERE AT THIS TIME? Then, I heard someone excitedly scream my name from across the room. SABINA SABINA HERE HERE COME SIT WITH ME! Slightly taken off guard, I looked up to see one of my orientation leaders waving like a maniac […]

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Including Commuters in Your Campus Community

Including Commuters in Your Campus Community

It’s not easy to build amazing communities in your res halls and within your organizations. But it’s even harder to include students who don’t have a “home” on campus. As a commuting student in college, I understand how difficult it can be to feel a part of the campus community if you don’t work hard at it. And for those less extroverted than myself, it must seem impossible. My alma mater, Fordham University, recently ran an article in the school paper called “Commuters Love for Fordham? Depends On the Time.” The article points out that commuters have a hard time getting involved in on campus events club/organization meetings integrated learning communities The reason? Timing. The truth is, in most schools with a large resident population, events are often held in the late evening. For students who live a good distance from […]

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3 Simple Ways to Turn Your Social Media into a Community

3 Simple Ways to Turn Your Social Media into a Community

We live in an online world, there’s no escaping it. I mean, one designer even created phone backgrounds for herself to remind her there’s a world past her relatively tiny screen. So we can’t talk about building community without acknowledging that social media plays a big role.  Now, we all know about the issues around social media: cyberbullying, unfair comparisons between our lives and others, “fake” friendships, etc. etc. But I have also found that Facebook and Twitter have given me a chance at friendships I wouldn’t have gotten to “IRL.” And to me, these connections are just as close to my heart as someone I can grab lunch with any day. Whether you know someone really well offline, or just know them through the interwebz, here are 3 easy ways to turn your social media into a positive community […]

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Are You Part of Your Family’s Community?

Are You Part of Your Family’s Community?

If you think about it, the first community you’re ever part of is your family. But we often take for granted the awesome people we are surrounded by from the beginning because well, they’ve been there forever. When you think about your campus community, you might think of: Helping each other out Support system in tough times Great times and memories together Working together to create awesome things Respect My question for you (and myself) – are you acting the part in your family’s community?  I have a feeling that if we make more of an effort to connect with our families in new ways, that we will become better leaders out in the world too. Here are some suggestions: Shout out a family member on social media Send a card or spend some time with your parent when they […]

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INTERNSHIP POSITION: So You Think You Can Be a Swift Kick Intern?

INTERNSHIP POSITION: So You Think You Can Be a Swift Kick Intern?

It’s that time of year again; yep, you guessed it — Massachusetts Maple Month! But more importantly, it’s internship application time. And we want you to join our team from July – December 2015! So what does it mean to start Swift Kickin’ it with us? Check out this snapshot of the application: Your Mission (if you choose to accept it): Smile and be awesome, in the face of chaos you’ll remain cool as a cat. Be a direct part of many ongoing and one-time projects from the team. Be in charge of specific weekly/monthly metrics of success. Love improving and updating our various internal systems (Google Drive, Excel, Salesforce, Mailchimp, etc). Grease the daily, weekly, and monthly ongoing operations of the company to ensure we are green and growing…and most importantly on track. Within a single day, be willing […]

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