On January 24th, 2014, the 2016 Columbia College Student Council organized the Major Discovery Series. The purpose of this event was to help students explore and decide on their major. We tried to accomplish this goal by inviting students and administrators to sit on a series of panels and asking them to share information about the major selection process and their experiences with their own majors.
The first panel was a success. While there were fewer students in attendance than we expected, the advice that the panelists shared was great. A few students that we spoke to after the event said that the panelists really brought light to the major selection process, and that their advice about their own major was a great help.
However, we encountered quite an unavoidable issue—there was an unbearable smell during the event. We noticed the smell during the first panel, and a few Facilities staff found the source to be a rotting turkey in the Lerner Party Space’s (broken) fridge. We kid you not. After the turkey was found, we were asked to leave the Party Space, forcing us to relocate upstairs near the entrance. At that point, we decided to turn the remaining two panels into an informal event during which students could speak directly with panelists and administrators.
Though this turkey was the most significant reason our event didn’t work out as planned, there are a couple of other reasons. First, the event conflicted with a large career fair. We’ll be sure to check other events calendars before booking future events so that we don’t conflict with another popular event. Also, we could have collaborated with other student groups to make this event more of a success. We originally had a Pre-Professional Panel planned for the event (for which we were going to reach out to pre-professional groups), but due to time constraints and problems with University Events Management, we could not include the panel in our event’s schedule.
Given the positive comments about our first panel and the administration’s praise of the idea itself, we will share our plans with the 2017 class council, who will hopefully organize a similar event next year.
Expected Attendance: ~25-30 per panel
Actual Attendance: 15-20 at first panel. Students slowly filed in and out of the second two “panels.”
Hours Spent Planning: 7-10hours (meetings, emails, and set-up)
Breakdown of Costs:
- Food and Drinks for Event (with tip and tax) – $325.00
- Audio/Video Charges – $144.00