Clubs Come Together for Colby Olympics
When Student Programming Board (SPB) Social Committee co-chair Sam Helm '12 undertook the task of organizing the first annual Colby Olympics, a reincarnation of the Frat Row Olympics, he knew that SPB could not do it alone. One of the first steps Helm took in planning the event after he got the approval in January was to send out an e-mail to an array of different club leaders on campus soliciting their help with the event. The Student Government Association (SGA), Pugh Community Board (PCB) and iPlay all accepted Helm's invitation. Each organization played its own part in helping the Colby Olympics run smoothly last Saturday, April 24.
"The Frat Row Olympics were only for a certain part of campus," Helm said, as only dorms on Roberts Row participated. "By making it the Colby Olympics, we expanded it to all of campus, so we wanted to include a whole bunch of clubs to give it that all-campus feel," he said.
Helm and SPB's initiative to collaborate with different clubs is part of a growing trend on campus. SGA Publicity Chair Ricky Schwartz '11 started the trend by organizing the second annual Winter Carnival on the weekend of February 12 with the help of SGA, SPB, iPlay, the Colby Outing Club and the Colby Volunteer Center.
Schwartz said that he is happy to see other clubs building the momentum he started with Winter Carnival. "All the club leaders I worked with were incredibly supportive and excited about being involved with the planning and execution of Carnival Weekend," he said. "I am very excited that there have been so many collaborative events this spring that have built on the energy of the success of Winter Carnival."
Dave McGraw, assistant director for campus programs and leadership development, works closely with SPB and enjoys "seeing collaboration across campus because it [fosters] community and allows for friendships to develop that might not have before."
iPlay Commissioner Michael Brophy '12 pointed out more pragmatic reasons for club collaboration. "[Collaboration between multiple groups] really makes these events better. It allows different organizations to really take hold of one aspect of the event and focus on it so it's really good. Then all the different groups can put their work together and the result is a lot better than if you had one organization overstretching its resources," he said. iPlay helped plan and run the games at last Saturday's Colby Olympics and the Johnson Pond broomball tournament as part of Winter Carnival.
"It becomes sort of a, 'I scratch your back, you scratch my back' kind of thing," Brophy said. "You help these other clubs and organizations once, and if things go well, as they have been going so far, you have a relationship established where you can go to them for help if you need it," he said.
Brophy did just that, he said, as he went to SPB for help planning last Friday's Kickball Tournament hosted by iPlay and SPB. Although large portions of the event had to be cancelled because of the rain, SPB provided a beer garden at the event and raffle prizes every half hour and was planning to provide snacks, music and grills for students to barbecue.
McGraw had a similar outlook on the benefits of inter-club collaboration. He said that such collaboration allows clubs to "get more bang for our buck."
"It's really great to know that we have these relationships with groups like SGA and SPB where we can help them out with their events [like Winter Carnival and Colby Olympics]," Brophy said. "Students are learning lots more about the different resources on campus and how to tap into them. Just because your club doesn't have [certain] resources doesn't mean that they don't exist," he said.