On Sunday evening, Oct. 1, the first-ever Andrews University Club Summit took place in the Buller Hall Newbold Auditorium. The Club Summit was created and launched by this year’s Andrews University Student Association as a practical application of the team’s vision to increase interpersonal student engagement on our campus. As an AUSA team, one of our goals is to facilitate student connections and to build community amongst our diverse student body. The purpose of the AUSA Club Summit is to provide an opportunity for the leaders of our many cultural and departmental clubs on campus to meet each other, discuss ideas, share concerns, and to facilitate collaborations between clubs. This project was led by the AUSA Student Services Director, Rebecca Puii, and the AUSA President, Jessica Yoong. The idea for a Club Summit was inspired after Jessica attended the annual AIA (Adventist Intercollegiate Association) meetings of the Student Government officers from all the NAD SDA Universities and brainstormed with Rebecca as to how something similar could happen on the Andrews campus. Rebecca served as the AUSA champion for organizing and coordinating the club leaders, program, and logistics for the Club Summit event. During this first session, the purpose of the Club Summit was outlined to the 64+ attendees. Club leaders were given the opportunity to introduce themselves and to speak briefly about what their club strives to achieve. The Andrews University VP of Diversity and Inclusion, Michael Nixon, shared some thoughts with the group and expressed his desire to be involved in the various campus club events. Several upcoming events designed to include all clubs were presented and feedback was gathered as to how the Club Summits could provide the most value to the club leaders.
This year, we have refocused our AUSA Student Services Director position to serve as the student liaison to the Andrews University VP of Diversity and Inclusion and as an impartial coordinator who works with the leaders of our 50+ student clubs on campus. Rebecca has been hard at work planning for the next official club-collaborative event; a Night Market that features food sold by departmental and cultural clubs, artistic projects sold by various student artists, and live music performances. In order for students to take full advantage of our unique position as ranked #1 for ethnic diversity, students must interact and build relationships with those who are outside their own departmental or cultural groups. The Club Summit provides an incredible opportunity for student leaders, and therefore the rest of the student body at large, of all scholastic and cultural backgrounds to connect and collaborate with one another.