To Evvie, Love Evvie: A Letter to my Younger Self.

I avoided writing this journal entry for a long time because I knew that I would never be able to come up with the words to convey just how amazing my experience at Auburn was. In 8 days I will hear my name be called, walk across the stage and receive my diploma. I will officially be a graduate of Auburn University, and then my life will completely change. All of my amazing friends will move all over the country for their new jobs, and I will be going to law school. I will no longer live in Creekside with my four very best friends, where every day is like a sleepover. I will no longer spend my days driving around downtown Auburn unsuccessfully trying to find a parking spot. I will no longer get lost in Haley Center, or be a student in the student section of Jordan-Hare. Everything is changing and for a second, I would like the world to stand still so I can take it all in. So this entry is my way of pressing pause, taking a step back and taking one last deep breath, in order to remember the place that will always feel like home in my heart.

Dear Freshman Evvie,

Congratulations! You made it to Auburn University. Soon your dad will drive away, leaving you in a freezing cold dorm room known as Glenn Hall. It will feel like summer camp, but dad will not be coming back to pick you up in two weeks. Note to self: The room is freezing because the air is on, I know it looks like you can’t turn that big machine off, BUT YOU CAN! I’m sorry to let you know that you will not find a lasting friendship with your roommate, but at least you will learn patience. IMG_5331Also, if she ever tries to buy hard boiled eggs, just quietly throw them away and act like you don’t know what happened to them; they will rot, and your room will smell for weeks. You will be scared, you will miss home and Auburn is in NO WAY like high school; so don’t expect it to be. You will think about transferring, think about running away, think about skipping classes and not trying, but you will make it. You will learn to be strong even when you don’t want to be, you will learn to give every ounce of effort when it comes to studying and you will learn how to make it to your 8 a.m. even after you have gone to drink specials. You will be just fine.

Dear Sophomore Evvie,

Oh girly, get ready for a wild ride. You will move into your sorority dorm with your best friend and things will never be the same. This is the year you will make even more best friends and when you will truly feel at home at Auburn. During your sophomore year, always remember your worth. There will be times this year that you do not remember that, but please know that any self-doubt you feel is not true. Not that I want you to do anything differently, but here are a few pointers:IMG_5863
1. You will be worried about joining clubs and that you are not involved enough. It is okay! You do NOT need to join the Spring Up Leadership Club. You, Melissa and Kelsie will be the oldest ones in there and it will be weird.

2. If you are thinking about asking that kid to your extra special sorority formal, do it…it will be worth the story.

3. Don’t worry about the fact that you go out every week, and definitely, keep all of the pictures.

4. You know how they talked about the freshman 15? Well, there is also a thing called the sophomore seven, it is real, but it doesn’t matter. Just think of it as seven pounds worth of memories.

5. Get a key chain for your Tiger Card.

6. You will fight with your best friends, a lot. Forgive them always…because they will stand by your side no matter what. They will be the best people you will ever meet and nobody will be able to replace them.

7. Learn to rap as many Drake songs as possible.

8. Say yes to as many experiences as you can, this will be your favorite (and let’s be honest, most wild) year of college and you will never forget it

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Dear Junior Evvie,

Thank you for settling down. This will be the year where you thrive as a student and a woman. This will be the year that you discover that feminism is your FAVORITE F-word. This will be the year that you find friends outside of your sorority, hold on to those friendships, those women will make you strive to be a better person every single day. This will be the year you will get a dog, he will be SUCH a pain, but you will love him with all of your heart. This will be the year that you become positive about what you want to do for the future. This will be an amazing year, so get ready.

 

 

Dear Senior Evvie,

Thank you for not regretting any of the choices you made in college. Some days might have been hard, and after about the 10th fight about intersectional feminism with a frat boy on the concourse, you will feel as if you have outgrown this sleepy southern town. But this place made you who you are. It made you have to fight for what you believed in, and you are smarter for it. It made you confident, intelligent, more compassionate and well rounded. This place is and always will be your home.

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For The Auburn University Women’s Resource Center: Change is Sweet

On any given day you will see club tables lined up along the concourse on Auburn University’s campus. Students can learn about clubs, events or just stop by to chat with club members. But one organization on Auburn’s campus used their table time on the concourse to take a stand. The Ambassadors to the  Women’s Resource Center hosted an equal payday event to highlight the wage gap, and although the issue is hotly contested, the women were standing strong.

“Due to a variety of reasons, many women in this country are making less money than men,” said Women’s Resource Center Ambassador President, Sung Mo.” “Equal Pay Day being April 12th, represents the amount of extra time a woman would have to work to make the same amount of money a man would make in 1 calendar year. That’s 4 extra months, and we think that is unacceptable in 2016.”

12928233_1270307546316816_3003630489530332841_nTo educate students the Ambassadors passed out fliers and cookies, but these cookies came with a catch. To fully represent the wage gap between women  and men, the Ambassadors charged 75 cents per cookie for women and 1 dollar a cookie for men. Because women earn less, on average than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. The wage gap is even greater for most women of color, for example, African American women are said to generally make 68 cents to the man’s dollar, and Hispanic women as little as 56 cents. According to the Women’s Ambassadors it’s not about being unfair, but rather educating the students.

“The wage gap and gender equality affect all races, sexes and sexual orientations in some form or another so we want to do our part to make a difference, and we think the best way to go about that is to educate students.” said Mo.
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In working to educate students about the wage gap, the Ambassadors to the Women’s Resource Center showcased the leadership qualities that Auburn students are known for possessing. Due to the leadership and friendliness of all of the women involved with the cookie sale, students really responded to the event in a positive way.

“Honestly, I had no idea about the wage gap before I passed their table on campus,” said freshman, Olivia Haas. “It bothers me that some women have to face these challenges, so I’m glad the Women’s Resource Center is getting the information out there and trying to make a difference.”

The women’s resource center plans to hold this event for years to come but hopes it will not be necessary. The Ambassadors to the Women’s Resource Center work together for a variety of events on campus to highlight women’s issues. They work to educate students and enhance the lives of women.

“We love to hear what the students have to say. I’ve had kids come up to buy a cookie having no idea why we were selling them, and I’ve had a lot of great discussions. I don’t always agree with what they are saying, but it’s nice to have a healthy dialogue.” Said Mo.

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Arts and acrobats take over CityFest 2016!

CityFest 2016, with the theme Arts and Acrobats, will be held on April 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kiesel Park. CityFest is hosted by the City of Auburn and is one of the largest free outdoor festivals in the state. Admission, parking and all activities are free to guests. Guests will be able to enjoy arts and crafts, fine art vendors, children’s activities, food and live music.

“For the last 16 years, Auburn CityFest has become the largest outdoor arts and crafts festival in the area, bringing in the best in local and regional artists musicians year in and year out,” said CityFest Vendor Coordinator, Whitney Morris. “What I love the 12805859_10154028005126031_2737259508542821116_nmost about CityFest is that it has grown to embody everything that Auburn residents, myself included, love about Auburn. It is the quintessential springtime event; inviting our residents outside to enjoy good food, great weather, awesome music, amazing activities and a fantastic exhibition of artists and crafts persons.”

Guests also have the opportunity to enjoy some fantastic art at the Juried Art Preview Exhibition and Reception. The art show, held on Thursday, April 28 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Historic Nunn-Winston House, features works in a variety of mediums by local and regional artists. Like CityFest, the Juried Art show is free and open to the public. Guests will be able to view the Juried Art show works during CityFest.d27a09_8a8b56ad06b04b44869f60f4b2fccfd5

This year’s entertainment will include local artist such as Trace Pridgen, BB Palmer & Kudzu and Jive Mother Mary. Aside from just musical entertainment, guest have the opportunity to see the ZuZu African Acrobats, an acrobatic dance group who have performed on “America’s Got Talent.”

Because CityFest is designed to entertain the whole family, there is a special area just for children, known as The Children’s Imagination Station. This area includes bounce houses, laser tag, pony rides, a rock wall and even knocker balls. Also performing will be Auburn CityFest favorite, Lew-E the Clown, and Stilt Walker and Comedic Juggler, Todd Key. Be sure to stop by the Kreher Forest and Nature Preserve, the giant sandbox, sponsored by Home Depot, and ScoutFest, hosted by the Boy Scouts of America- Saugahatchee District.
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“Cityfest is a true showcase of local and regional talent from every area you could possibly imagine,” Morris said. “The Auburn Community, especially members of the Auburn Business Community, really work hard to make, not only Auburn CityFest but the city itself a great place to live and work and it is because of this that I love helping put together this festival to give it back to the community.”

For more information visit www.auburncityfest.com.

 

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SOCIAL MEDIA RELEASE – GASPARILLA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF FILM

Pitch

The 10th annual Gasparilla International Film Festival will take place this year starting on March 30, 2016 and ending on April 1, 2016Frestival goers have the opportunity to attend films, receptions, family friendly events and media days at venues across the Tampa Bay area.
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Background

The Gasparilla International Film Festival is run by the 501(C)3 Nonprofit Organization, The Tampa Film Institute, Inc. They are a cultural arts institution that inspires, educates, and entertains Tampa Bay’s diverse population through an annual celebration of film, year-round events, community outreach, and social awareness initiatives that foster communication, generate economic impact, and provide support for the film industry of Tampa Bay and State of Florida.

In just 10 short years, GIFF has hosted thousands of filmmakers, talent, producers, and film buffs along with countless World Premieres, USA Premieres, and Florida Premiere film screenings that have brought and continues to bring the arts, education, and quality films to the Tampa Bay Area!
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Facts

  • Film Categories at the Festival include Shorts, Narrative Feature, College Student Films, International, Focus on Florida, Documentary Feature and High School Film Showcase.
  • The Tampa Film Institute was founded in 2006 with the inaugural Gasparilla International Film Festival held in 2007
  • In just 10 short years, GIFF has hosted thousands of filmmakers, talent, producers, and film buffs along with countless World Premieres, USA Premieres, and Florida Premiere film screenings.
  • This year’s special tribute will celebrate the many accomplishments of Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony winner Rita Moreno. GIFF will honor Moreno with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Also, her film, “Remember Me” will screen at the festival.
  • In addition to the annual film festival, GIFF provides local residents with monthly screenings of the Global Lens series at the Tampa Museum of Art, and other special film and entertainment events year round.
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Quotes

“An event to be sure to be a part of. The Gasparilla International Film Festival is always growing with excitement and experience. Expectations should be high of this event. The films are always so great and the participants so gracious. Join in the festivities because, it’s a great time!”

“Gasparilla International Film Festival is one of Tampa’s premier events! Incredible films, parties, panels that draw some of the biggest crowds and movie stars to the Bay Area!”

“Gasparilla International Film Festival offers movie buffs the unique opportunity to ask questions to the directors and actors about their new movie, while taking pride in having them debut it here in Tampa!”

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Multimedia

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Social Media

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website
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Contact

Tampa Film Institute, Inc.
Gasparilla International Film Festival
1723 W Cypress St.
Tampa, FL 33606
Info@gasparillafilmfestival.com
813-693-2367
Media Inquiries: Info@GasparillaFilmFestival.com

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From a senior to the undecided: why Public Relations was right for me.

Dear Undecided,

I have wanted to go to law school since I was in high school. I always dreamed of rocking an awesome suit, standing in the courtroom and yelling out objections to opposing counsel. Yet, though I dreamed big, I always dreamed realistically. I have heard more horror stories than I would like to remember about how challenging law school is. I do believe I will make it, but my freshman year of college I decided I needed a major that would prepare me to succeed in law school, but also be able to catch my fall if it didn’t. As a high school student who loved organizing events and was addicted to all aspects of social media, I decided public relations was the right path for me. After researching the major I was confident that it would give me the reading, writing and speaking abilities I needed to be a successful lawyer. Plus, it would be a great career path if I needed to deviate from my path to the courtroom. I was so proud of my research and decision that I giddily walked into my living room to tell my parents.

I remember my dad looking me dead in the eye and saying to me, “Okay, well let’s hope law school works out because you know PR people are always the first to get fired when the economy goes south.”

I am directly quoting that because he ACTUALLY said that to me! I was crushed. My dad CLEARLY didn’t know anything. Little did I know, that was not going to be the last time words like that came out of someone’s mouth when I tell them my major is public relations. For some reason, when you say public relations everyone thinks you’re either going to be a party planner in New York or cover up companies horrific scandals…there really is no in-between.

So, from a decided student to an undecided on here is a list of things you should know about the wonderful, frustrating, fascinating and fast-paced world of public relations.

1.Public relations is more than just sending out tweets and posting Instagrams

Often, people will try to put public relations in a tiny box. You will not just be a social media guru, or a one event planner or even just a writer. Public relations works to teach you how to excel in many facets of the communications world. In a typical public relations internship or job you will be responsible for writing press releases, posting on social media, graphic/website design, event planning and communicating with media. This job is great for people who like to learn new things because you wear a different hat almost every day.

2.Public relations can give you so many amazing connections

If there is one thing public relations people know how to do, it is connect. The amount of connections I made during my time as a PR major is astounding. I was able to travel to London for a PR study abroad program where I was able to visit firms such as Edelman PR and make some amazing friends. Everyone we met during our trip gave us cards to contact them, and I know a few girls from the program that have used those connections to their advantage. I am also the Public Relations Direc12398_1129894097022768_9137964173541534483_ntor for the Auburn University College Democrats and because of my role I have had the ability to meet, Lily Ledbetter, Alabama Democratic Chairwoman Nancy Worley, Alabama State Representative Patricia Todd, and even presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

3.Public relations can be a great stepping stone

As I mentioned above, I will be going to law school next Fall. One of the main reasons that I was so successful in my law school search is that I was a public relations major. I have always been confident and talkative, but I wasn’t able to speak clearly and professionally in front of a crowd. I was always a good writer, but I wasn’t able to write in time crunches and I had no idea what AP style was. Thanks to my major, I was able to develop skills that I would never have developed on my own. Public relations challenges me every day to create top tier work because anything less is unacceptable.
4.Your internship requirement will make you a better Public relations professional

I remember being terrified on the first day of my internship. Although I felt prepared thanks to the classes I had taken, I didn’t know how well that preparation would transfer over to the real world. After a few weeks I learned the scary truth, my PR classes may have taught me the basics, but the working world takes a lot more practice.I had a 3.9 cumulative GPA  but I was getting called into my boss’s office about once a week because of errors I made in the work I was producing. I was filled with anxiety and self-doubt about my ability. The good news is that the pressure made me work harder and study differently. I got scolded less and less and improved my skills. Overall, the pressure from work experience made me better at my job and more confident.

5.People will try and tell you the work you do isn’t important…and that’s okay!

If I have learned one thing at college it is that everyone thinks that their major is harder, more time consuming and better suited for the real world than everyone else’s. Everyone wants to feel good about the job they are doing and sometimes that means just feeling better about y10416644_10154186775955247_7076442180751742371_nour major and/or career than the person you are talking to. What I will say is a major public relations was the right choice for me. It made me happy, made me a better writer and made me more confident. It allowed me to have a high GPA because I enjoyed the work and it connected me to people all over the country. I have held my own job, met fascinating people, solved public relations problems and traveled to Europe(shout out to the fab four pictured to the left, I love you ladies) thanks to my major. To me, that proves that the work I do is important and I have learned over the last four years that what you think about your future is really all that counts.

I wont lie to you… the major that you choose really doesn’t matter. What matters is the work you are willing to put into that major. Find something you are passionate about and go with it; no matter what your parents, friends or peers say. For me, the choice to be a public relations major was an easy one and if I could do it all again I would. I did what I loved and I hope you will too.

 

Love,

A Senior

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On the Tracks event to be held in Downtown Opelika

The 21st Biannual “On the Tracks Food and Wine Event” will be held on Saturday, April 15 in Downtown Opelika from 6 to 11 p.m. On the Tracks, sponsored by the Auburn Opelika Tourism Bureau and the Opelika Chamber of Commerce, allows patrons to have wine, beer and food tastings inside all of the participating shops in downtown Opelika. The event, now in its 11th year, was started by Pam Powers-Smith and Richard Patton and is hosted by Opelika Main Street.

“The event started because we wanted to provide an opportunity to actually see our stores,” said event creator, Pam Powers-Smith. “We used to have events such as concerts and people would just hang out outside, which is great, but we really wanted to expose people to what downtown really had to offer.”RZ8P0039 for web

On the Tracks, which is open to all ages, draws about 2,500 to historic downtown Opelika by providing a fun and engaging evening that shows off all Opelika has to offer. Aside from just partaking in the food and wine tasting, guests can enjoy shopping in the participating downtown shops, eating at the local restaurants or listening to the live band, Alabama Avenue. All of the participating shops and restaurants will be open late so guests can utilize them for the entirety of the event.

On the Tracks is set up to be flexible to represent the relaxed nature of downtown Opelika. You can purchase individual tickets or you have the option to buy a group tent. This includes a table and 10 chairs for $350. The tent and table give you an opportunity to rest, eat and enjoy music while soaking in beauty of downtown. Although you need a ticket for the food and wine tasting, you do not need a ticket to explore downtown Opelika that evening.

“My favorite part [of On the Tracks] is the atmosphere of the event. It is difficult to explain unless you come and see for yourself, but I always notice people meeting new friends, seeing old friends and enjoying the evening. I like seeing people strolling in the street looking around at their leisure but also enjoying food and wine at the same time, so it’s really the best of both worlds,” Powers-Smith said.
On the Tracks
Advance tickets for the tasting trail are $25 and may be purchased at OntheTracks.org, FlipFlop Foto or Verge Pipe Media. Tickets are also available at the event. All ticket proceeds are in support of Downtown Opelika and come with a keepsake wine glass! For more information, contact Powers-Smith at info@opelikamainstreet.org, call (334) 745-0466 or visit OntheTracks.org.

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How the Young Women Leaders Program Changed my Life

My freshman and sophomore year are Auburn were more challenging that I had expected them to be. Not so much dealing with academics, but dealing with the emotional transition of going to college out of state was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. In high school, I was in as many clubs as I could handle at one time, everyone at school knew me, and I measured my success by how busy I was. When I came to Auburn I became a big fish in a small pond. My only extra curricular activity was my social sorority and I felt like I was trying to fit into a mold that I didn’t belong in. Then, one fateful day I was lost in the Haley Center and stumbled upon a flyer that read “ Join the Young Women Leader Program.”

The Young Woman Leaders Program is a mentoring program that pairs 7th grade girls at Auburn Junior High with college women. I had mentored before and really enjoyed it so I decided to interview. After I was accepted, I was put on a track that would alter my entire life. Every Monday I met in a classroom with all of the other mentors, who were referred to as “big sisters”, where we learned about adolescent development. 12745528_10153397980242742_3053727826435496664_nWe were educated about the differences that girl and boys experience at school and spoke in detail about how to empower young women. I learned that being a mentor is not about giving advice or “fixing someone” but rather its giving them the tools to help themselves and supporting them along the way. After class I would meet with my small group, which was composed of five other big sisters and two undergraduate facilitators. We planned our weekly lessons and spoke about how our relationship with our little was going. The next day, we would meet with our little sisters at the junior high and do a lesson. These lessons usually touch on things like relationships, anger management, good decision-making and being a leader. In addition from all of this I got to spend at least one hour a week with my amazing little sister to just hang out.

When I started to grow in the program I finally had back that feeling of being busy that I had been yearning for, but this felt so much better because my busy schedule was filled with purpose. I knew that every meeting meant something more than a mark on my weekly planner or a bullet point on a resume; it was bigger than anything I had every done before. A year after the program ended I knew I wouldn’t be able to leave so I continued on to become an undergraduate facilitator, which allows me to mentor five new bigs and their little sisters. I also am still close with my little sister. Even though I am no longer required by the program to spend time with her, I still drive her to school once a week and occasionally hang out with her on weekends. She will be a part of my life for as long as she wants to be and for that I am so grateful.

YWLP was truly a life ch12729390_10153397980272742_8121914802165992_nanging experience for me. I went into it thinking that I would just be hanging out with a girl and I may teach her some lessons along the way; it ended up being so much more than that. Not only did my little sister teach me about dedication, patience, and understanding, but the YWLP program led me to people that I would otherwise have never met on this campus. It has shaped me into a strong, and independent woman who is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. It has encouraged me to speak out about women’s rights, led me to work as an ambassador to Women’s Resource Center and solidified my desire to focus on Poverty law when I attend Emory Law next Fall.

Being a mentor is not for everyone. It requires a ton of dedication and more patience than you would think. But, if you are willing to put in the work, it can open so many doors, and maybe even change your life. If you are interested in applying to be a big sister in the Young Women Leaders Program you can go to https://cws.auburn.edu/wc/cm/YWLP or email ywlp@auburn.edu.

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A Public Relations Plan for a Spring Break to Remember

Spring Break is one of those holidays that really encapsulates the college experience. Groups of friends road-tripping to questionable beaches and staying in condos belonging to unsuspecting elders that could kick you out at any minute…as Taylor Swift would say “its miserable and magical, oh yeah.” Over the years my friends and I have traveled all over the country, but ended up at those questionable beaches every single time.

Freshman year it was Destin, a quaint little beach town often overtaken by college students for weeks at a time. For some reason I convinced myself I liked Luke Bryan? Oh to be young and naive!

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Sophomore year, came with a more low key trip to Vero Beach Trip. However, we still drove way to far to see sand and water! I’d also like to point our our outfits. Honestly, if giant fisher shirts are wrong, then I don’t want to be right!

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Finally, Junior year we went a little wild and traveled 12 hours to South Padre Island in Texas. This “beach” has been described by many of my friends as “a modern day Chernobyl” or “purgatory”. Pictured below is me with two of my best friends. We may be smiling, but we were actually huddling together to shield ourself from a giant wind and sand storm that had overtaken the beach. I need to emphasize: this trip, while now a funny story, was NOT our best idea.

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So here we are on our fourth and final Spring Break, and while I have some amazing memories and hilarious stories from trips in the past, I really want this trip to be the best of all time. My friends and I will be taking a seven-day cruise that stops in Cozumel, Costa Maya, Belize and Honduras. So, like any good public relations professional with a plan I will need to develop a goal, objectives and strategies and tactics to ensure our trip will be executed correctly.

Goal

To have the most enjoyable and relaxing Spring Break cruise possible with my best friends.

Objectives, Strategies and Tactics

Objective 1: To relax

Strategies and Tactics for Objective 1: After a pretty challenging semester this is the objective I am most looking forward to fulfilling. My strategic plan to do so will include getting a massage on the ship as well as lazy days in the sun reading one of the books I will be bringing with me.

Objective 2: To go on an adventure

Strategies and Tactics for Objective 2: This objective will be easy to accomplish because my group has booked an exciting excursion! We will be snorkeling with sting rays in nurse sharks in Honduras. As a Florida native who grew up doing “the sting ray shuffle” I am a little nervous to be in the water with these creatures. However, I will embrace my inner mermaid and have the adventure I am dreaming of.

 

Objective 3: To enjoy the company of my friends

Strategies and Tactics for Objective 3: This is one of the most important objectives of the trip. I have made some amazing friends over the last four years and after all we have been through we deserve to have a great trip together. We will accomplish this objective by having dinner together, telling jokes and dancing the night away!

** I would also like to give a shout out to my friends if they happen to read this blog: I love you all, thank you for being my friends. Without you and our spring break memories, blogs like this wouldn’t be possible. **

After our trip I will assess our public relations plan by answering a few questions. Am I tan? Did I finish a book? Did I get bit by a shark or stung by a sting ray? How many fights did I get in with my roommates? Hopefully the answers to those questions are yes, yes, no, no and zero…but you never know, when it comes to my group of friends, anything is possible!

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Auburn Students Reach Across the Aisle for Voter Registration Drive

As you walk down the Haley concourse, it is not unusual to see students from various political organizations handing out fliers, stickers or candy in order to get students involved in their clubs But, what is unusual, is a group of them all sitting together. For two weeks in February, the sisters of Omega Phi Alpha, the College Democrats, the College Republicans, the Young Americans for Liberty and the Student Government Association (SGA) all joined forces and worked together to help students register to vote. Their slogan, “No matter the Party, let your voice be heard”, seemed to resonate with students.

Voter-Registration

“I loved seeing everyone working together for such a great cause because it is imperative that college students vote in order for our generation’s opinion to be represented in our government,” said junior Meredith Smith. “I think students are sometimes apathetic about voting because they don’t understand the political process or feel that their vote doesn’t make a difference, so I was happy to see those students passionate about government work together to encourage others to participate and vote.”

The students sat together at a table every day and collected voter registration forms as well as absentee ballots. They even took the forms to the county registrar office. In the first two days of having the voter registration the students were able to register over 100 students.

“SGA tried to set up the dialogue between the different groups and handle the logistics. Omega Phi Alpha took the lead on volunteers, and the other political groups were able to get the word out and generate interest and other volunteers,” said Michael Bullington, Assistant Vice President of External Affairs for the Student Government Association. “SGA’s mission is to serve and promote the individual student, and to unify all that is Auburn. By bringing four distinct groups together to try to help students let their voices be heard, we hope to have adhered to that mission.”

Aside from just helping students register to vote, this drive worked as a way to showcase the different organizations on campus that students could be involved in. Students were able to have a dialogue with members of all of the political organizations on campus in order to find out where they fit in.

“My favorite part was the interaction among members of different political affiliations and ideologies at the volunteer table,” said Calvin Wilborn, President of the College Democrats. “It provided a great opportunity for students to socialize and talk who otherwise might not.”

Although this project was about helping students find their voice in the political process by registering them to vote, it proved to be so much more. This University thrives when students work together and share ideas and by working together the leadership of all of the organizations involved did just that. By these organizations coming together they showed what it truly means to be an Auburn student.

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Alabama 4-H Good Dog Project: Learning to be Dog’s Best Friend

Auburn, Ala.—The Alabama 4-H Good Dog Project, open to 4-H youth ages 9-19, is a statewide program where students can learn how to train a dog for agility and obedience, and ultimately compete in a dog show. This program, which focuses on the many aspects of dog companionship, covers aspects of pet care such as behaviors, health and nutrition, service project ideas, dog related careers and public speaking. Aside from just the benefits to their pets, youth develop skills in critical thinking, goal setting, time management, decision-making and problem solving.

“I got interested in the project because I wanted to learn the correct way to train my dog Paisley, not the wrong way,” said 10-year-old Emma Grace Broyles, a 4-H member in Henry county. Broyles is also excited to show off her and Paisley’s new skills at their upcoming dog show.

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Emma Grace Broyles with her dog, Paisley.

The Good Dog Project is being rolled out statewide this year, and is currently being piloted by a few counties. Certain counties, such as Henry and Houston, are using a local credentialed CPDT-KSA trainer. CPDT-KSA trainer stands for Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Skills Assessed. The program for Henry and Houston County currently holds two obedience-training workshops per week that lasts for eight weeks. At the end of the training period, there is a dog show to showcase the mastery of skills learned by the students and their dogs.

“Dogs are very popular companion animals and most of our 4-H families either have a dog or know someone who does. When youth enroll in 4-H, there is a section for them to indicate what they like to do as well as projects they are interested in. One of those projects is Companion Animals. As we followed up with these young people, we discovered an interest in working with dogs, especially obedience and agility training,” said Doug Summerford, a 4-H Foundation  regional agent.

“They [youth] acquire responsibility and leadership skills throughout the project. They learn about the selection, care and training of a dog. They gain knowledge of a selected dog and interact with that dog on a daily basis. And, they master the dog project via showmanship and presentations,”  Summerford said.

For youth that do not own a dog, there is still a way to participate. Aside from just borrowing a dog from a friend or neighbor,  there are local resources in every county that can help them locate a dog to train. Youth can contact veterinarians, animal shelters, CPDT-KSA trainers and pet stores. To get in contact with these organizations, youth can call the Alabama Cooperative Extension System office in their county.

For more information please contact your county Extension office.

 

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