When 2015 graduate Kerri Vogler arrived on Union’s campus, she only knew two people—one being her older sister. But Union’s friendly students and full lineup of activities soon changed that. “Most of my close friends I met at the first social event of the year, the Get Acquainted Handshake,” Vogler said.
Bubble soccer, barn party and banquets—these are three drops in a full bucket of weekly events Union organizes for students. Mostly planned by the student government or Associated Student Body, these activities provide opportunities for students to have fun and strengthen relations outside of the typical academic setting.
The point person for all this fun is the ASB social vice president—the one responsible for planning and executing events with the help of the rest of the student government officers. Vogler appreciated the importance of ASB events, and as a senior, her friends convinced her to take on the planning role.
Despite her crazy schedule, she decided to go for it. “If there is one thing I love, it is Union College,” she explained. “The people are amazing, friendly and supportive. I knew it would be challenging, but I wanted to give back to a school that had helped me grow as a person in every way possible.”
Deanna Morgan, a 2014 graduate of the nursing program, was the ASB social vice president during the 2012-13 academic year. “I wanted to be social vice to help create memories for students,” said Morgan. “After college you look back and remember the fun times and the friends you made. The idea of being able to facilitate that for students was a challenge I was excited to take on.”
Many college campuses do not offer social events every weekend. But at Union, the close-knit student body relishes their time together. In a residential setting, where students live in close proximity, these events enhance the supportive family feel of Union College.
“The events are what bring students together,” explained Vogler. “When you’re a freshman, typically you will not know many people prior to arriving on campus. Events and activities are where you meet the most people.”
Asha Moturi, a freshman communication major who has attended every event so far this year, said, “ASB events make it so that I look forward to the weekend and staying on campus. I enjoy being able to actually do something fun involving everyone.”
For James Dickerson, a sophomore exercise science major, events are a bit different. He lives off campus with his family. Instead of every weekend, Dickerson goes to ASB events about once a month.
“Since I do live off campus that means I am not in the dorm or even on campus nearly as much as most students,” he explained. “This makes ASB events a prime time for me to hang out with my on-campus friends. ASB has made an impact in my life by providing fun experiences that help unite Union together as a family. I have visited a number of other schools and Union is one of a kind, thanks to such a proactive ASB team.”
This sentiment is echoed across the campus, and though not every student loves every event the consensus is that living on campus and being engaged with the school and each other at events is pretty great.
Not only do students go to events, they get a chance to be a part of them as well. “I personally loved the barn party event because we put together a live band,” remembered Vogler. “Several Union students played music the whole night and a number of other students who attended stood around and watched, listened and enjoyed. I was amazed at how good they were and I loved seeing other students recognize their talent as well.”
Current ASB social vice president, Madison Wagnaar, explained her goals for this year: “I want to add something unique to every event, and even our tried-and-true annual ASB events deserve to be spiced up a bit.” As a senior business major, Wagnaar has waited until now to work as ASB social vice president because of the experience needed to do the job. She would, after all, be helping to craft each student’s college experience. “When I went to events, I had some of the best times with my friends, won some of the coolest prizes, and have incredible memories of Union bonding.”
Originally from Hawaii, Elena Cornwell graduated from Union College in May 2015 with a degree in international studies. She now lives in Lincoln and works as a freelance writer and newborn photographer, and loves to read, scuba dive, camp and tell stores.