Students lead panel on campus involvement


DaeQuan Fitzgerald

Highly engaged Guilford students shared experiences from campus involvement during the Make College Count event on Mar.13.//Photo by DaeQuan Fitzgerald/The Guilfordian

The Guided Discovery team led Career Action Week from Mar. 11 to Mar. 15. The department hosted several events throughout the week, which included the Make College Count information session on Mar. 13.

This was a panel of highly-engaged Guilford College students who shared on their experiences on and off campus as well as why and how others should get involved in campus activities. The speakers were diverse, representing a multitude of different student organizations and ranging from all classes.

The panel included Guilford Student Body Association president Dwayne Duncan Jr., who has invested a lot of his college time back into the campus. Along with serving as the GSBA president, the senior student is a resident advisor, a member of Voices of Victory gospel choir and interns with the human relations department of the City of Greensboro.

“I’m needed in roles that benefit and have an impact on other people,” Duncan said.

Junior Tyrek Speller opened on how to first get involved on campus. He is a defensive lineman on Guilford’s football team, an intern in the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement and a member of Brothers Doing Positive. He advises that students look in the right places to find opportunities for involvement.

“Word of mouth, or through the Buzz,” Speller said. “Reading that led me to these different clubs and groups where I could be involved.”

Similarly, junior Dayna Bryden dove into campus activities following friends already in student organizations.

“The friends I hang out with are very involved, so that’s how I got involved,” Bryden said. “Certain staff and faculty also suggested I join clubs.”

Bryden is an executive board member of Black Student Union, coordinator of Citizens Empowering Each Other (CEEO), a Serendipity co-chair through the Campus Activities Board, resident advisor, and soon-to-be assistant community director.

First-year Alina Santos gave her perspective as an underclassman. Her peers, at first, questioned her heavy involvement on top of classwork.

“A lot of people were trying to talk me out of applying to be a coordinator because it’s too much work and you have to devote too much time a day. But I just took a shot at it. I applied and got it,” Santos said.

Senior Kate Nunke suggests seizing opportunities when they present themselves. She currently serves as the general manager of WQFS 90.9, Guilford’s radio station, is a Principled Problem Solving Scholar and member of the Honors program, and works as an Guided Discovery department.

Guilford Guide Amber Slade led the event and reinforced the value of taking advantage of opportunities to be involved.

“A lot of things feel pointless until you figure out how to connect the dots yourself,” Slade said. “Before doing this, I was a cashier. I was helping people with their returns and pushing around lawn mowers.

“I was pretty miserable. I had an entire college degree and I was sweeping up pine needles from Christmas trees.”

Then, she began to see the value of working that position.

“I realized that this experience was building my people skills,” Slade said. “I learned to communicate with the common individual. To this day, I use examples from that part-time customer service cashier job in interviews for my professional and higher education goals.”

Senior Katie Claggett believes what one receives from an experience is dependent on how much the individual puts into it.

“If you go into anything thinking you’re not going to get anything out of it, you won’t,” Claggett said. “If you want people to get involved in things, you have to show an incentive for them. In the study abroad office, we ask students ‘What are your reasons for not wanting to travel?’ and we debunk them. For instance, if someone says they won’t study abroad because of a sport, I tell them I did it while being a student-athlete.”

Santos attested to this point.

“It’s really up to the individual themselves to see exactly how they can benefit from it,” Santos said. “I’ve developed a lot of communication skills, both verbal and written.”

Duncan emphasized how being involved more within studies can pay huge dividends as well.

“My major, community and justice studies, didn’t just teach me information I needed to know,” Duncan said. “It threw me out in the field where I developed community partners. I had really powerful, in-depth conversations with Dr. Love Crossling and Reverend Nelson Johnson (members of the City of Greensboro’s Human Relations department).”

Prior to the Wednesday panel, Guided Discovery hosted a Professional Dress Day event in Founders Hall on Mar. 11 and an information session on how to navigate through a career fair on Mar. 12, prior to the Mar. 20 Opportunities Fair.

Career Action Week concluded with a resume-building session on Mar. 14 with members of Charles Aris Inc., specifically Guilford College alumni working with the company. Guided Discovery hosted mock interviews between students and hiring managers to improve interview skills on Mar. 15.

Instruction from the Guilford Guide team is built upon seven points of wellness, which they claim will help the transition through college and post-graduation: resiliency, celebration, empowerment, reflective curiosity, connectedness, self-care and healthy communication.