Coming into the Harambeé planning process, we were just a group of student leaders that Jacob Brumfield called on to assist with the event, but after the first meeting I decided that this would be the perfect real world test. I wanted to test my skills and my dedication to one single project. Could I commit to something for that long? Would my experience from high school get me through a University-level event? And more than anything, do I really want to go into a career in Public Relations? Although the committee began as an open forum for us leaders to relay ideas, I noticed that whenever anyone asked a question, all eyes would turn to me! I figured then that if this group needed a leader, then I could try my hand at it. It wound up being a defining moment for my future.
The planning process was sometimes hazy, but with the help of the committee and our campus entities, I was able to piece things together bit-by-bit in my head. It was important for me to watch something come together from scratch, to know that nothing is too big if you knock it out one piece at a time. At some points, it seemed that we were lost on what to do or where to go from our last meeting, but eventually we made decisions and muddled along to get everything pushed through.
As a student who rarely attended Harambeé, as chair I came to the see how amazing this program could be for the African-American community on our campus. Harambeé doesn’t just showcase people who look like myself (African-American), it also brings out members of the Hispanic, LGBTQ, and other minority communities together in one area. Harambeé also gives members of these communities to meet some of the faculty and see how they, as administrators, work for us and for our success.
By the day of, I was going from the moment my eyes opened. It reminded me of doing events in high school because my adrenaline is an 11 on a scale of 1-10, but I’m enjoying it more than anything. The rushing, the running, and the panic have all become things that I’ve unfortunately grown to love, despite how bad they are for my health. With few hiccups along the way, the time flew by before my eyes as usual, and before I knew it, half of the program was finished.
My favorite part of the entire process was after Harambeé let out into the Harambeé Café, I walked upstairs after everything was set up and running, to the balcony that overlooks the North Lobby. From there I watched the band get into their performance while people poured into the area. To watch so many students from Southern, BRCC, and LSU come together in our Student Union because of an event that I poured my energy and effort into made it all worth it. The sample of an Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Dog, smoothie, and bottles of Dasani that made up my diet for that day, weren’t on my mind at all, instead I was watching my work come to life.
All in all, I came into the committee only expecting to work from the outside to put the program together, but soon I was enveloped in what I could only call… Harambeé. It helped me realize where I really want to go in my future, and also that I’m more than ready to start on my next event and continue on my journey to really leaving a mark on LSU’s campus!
Harambee’ Committee Chairperson 2012