Over the past year and a half, I’ve been presented with the unique opportunity to be on the executive committee for one of the largest university groups on my campus; UMSwing has grown to be one of the most popular interest groups, and I would like to think that it has something to do with the executive committees of years past.
I love every minute that I spend working for the club, not because I think it’s good resume padding (my last job at the RCMP does a much better job of that) or that I think I will get some benefit from it; I love it because I am glad to give back to a community that has given a lot to me. It’s exciting to be in a position to shape the future of such a prominent student group.
The position I’m in takes up a lot of my time. I show up to almost every lesson to supervise, design all of the graphics-related materials for the club, as well as coordinate and chair executive meetings. I’d say on average I spend 10-12 hours/week during the middle of the semester (when there are no events in the works) on UMSwing stuff, and between double to triple that at the beginning of the semester.
Upon reflection however, I feel like I’m losing touch with some of the reasons I joined UMSwing in the first place. UMSwing was a place to learn something new, make some great new friends, get some self-confidence, and get in shape. Back when I was a member, I accomplished all of that and then some. I attended as many lessons as possible and met some friends who will be with me for the rest of my life. This year, I’ve only participated in one lesson as a student, and that was because we were drastically short leads. The unfortunate side-effect of this is that I don’t get the opportunity to meet any of the new members. To them, I’m simply somebody that signs members in and supervises lessons.
I find myself in the unfortunate situation where my friends, who are participating in the lessons, are meeting new people, making friends, and getting so much more out of the club than I am able to in my position. It’s a shame that I am only able to enjoy the fruits of my labours by watching our members enjoy themselves. Being in a work term next semester only means that I will have less of an opportunity to meet the members.
That being said, I’m glad that our members are getting so much out of the club. After all, they are the ones paying for lessons, and they are the priority. I’m glad to have been a part of the team that has given them the opportunity to meet new people and learn something new, and I hope they all enjoy the lessons, social events, and the friendships they will forge on the dance floor.