Katie Ohren ’21, Morris, Minn.
Major: Communication Studies
Why did you want to be the Family Weekend chair?
I served on the Family Weekend Committee last year. This year, I knew that I wanted to apply to be the chair, but I assumed there was no chance I would get it as a sophomore going into junior year. So, my original plan was to apply for the assistant chair position, but Matt Dymoke from the Alumni Relations Office really pushed me to apply for the chair position. I wanted to be the Family Weekend chair because I thought the organization could use some changes and I felt like I had good ideas that I was ready to set into motion.
What are the responsibilities of the position?
I was responsible for “hiring” the members of the committee, along with recruiting many people to join and assigning each of them to a sub-committee. We held weekly meetings for large group time where I would inform everyone about new details and make sure that everyone was on track with the planning of events for the weekend. I oversaw all of the subcommittees and made sure their plans were timely, budget friendly, and did not conflict with the other events of Family Weekend.
What do you enjoy about your position as Family Weekend chair?
I really enjoyed working with my insanely creative committee because I always had an idea in my head about how a meeting will go and most often they blew my ideas out of the water. For example, our theme, “Family, a Little Bit Corny,” wasn’t something that I thought of individually. It was created by the entire committee and was better than anything I could have come up with.
What helped prepare you to take on this position?
Being on both the Family Weekend and Homecoming committees last year helped me see both organizations as a whole, which made me feel more prepared to take on the role of Family Weekend chair. Now I feel like I am the phone operator of the Family Weekend organization, always making sure that my committee gets connected with the right people on campus. It was such a joy to see them plan their events and to watch them take shape.
What makes Family Weekend such a special time of year for Cobbers?
I believe that Family Weekend is a time for all students to show their families – whether biological, legal, or the friends on campus that have become their families – they are succeeding in college. Whether it is a freshman showing their parents how to go through the line in DS or enjoying time at the football game with your friends and family, Family Weekend should be a time of positive reflection on the support systems in the student’s life.
What advice would you give to students looking to get involved in a leadership position but feel too intimidated to apply?
I felt intimidated to apply for this position, so I know how these people feel. It is important to remember that events like Family Weekend aren’t planned in a week. It takes months of planning and working with the rest of the Family Weekend team to create an event like this. This is a long haul opportunity that highlights your ideas for change in an organization and shows what you are made of.