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Club & Greek

SAB Attends NACA

This past week, executive board (e-board) members of the Student Activities Board (SAB) represented Monmouth University at the National Association for Campus Activites (NACA) in Boston, Massachusetts.

The purpose of the National Convention was meant for e-board members to experience many different performers, acts, and vendors to see which would be the best fit for Monmouth University. There were over 100 acts such as singers, magicians, comedians, hypnotists, speakers, illusionists, and bands.

 Another component of being at NACA was to attend educational sessions. Lindsay Smith, the Assistant Director of Student Activities, and SAB advisor said, “NACA is a great conference for students and professional staff with engaging educational sessions throughout the day for attendees to peer share and learn about leadership, managing a board, planning an event, marketing, and so much more.” These educational sessions allowed members to understand how to connect with our student body and engage them in our event planning.

An education session that many e-board members were impacted was called “Why Do You Hate Me? – A Look at Bullying and Self-Hate.” This session was run by Brent Scarpo, who recently became a life coach. Scarpo explained how he was going through a dark time in his life and a dog named Sophie who showed him the light. Sophie became a service dog and traveled everywhere with Scarpo. There was a moment in time when Sophie was missing and feared she was dead due to a car accident they got into.

Sophie was found by a homeless man and it took this man over an hour and a half to reach Scarpo. During that hour and a half, Scarpo thought that since she was gone that his life was over. Scarpo was fighting back the tears when he explained he was going to commit suicide once he left the police station. Miraculously, he received a phone call from the homeless man asking if he owned a dog named Sophie. That moment his life changed.

In his presentation, Scarpo told us he firmly believes that love is the answer to everything. We need to love someone or something that we do not have to love but want to love. After crying three times during his presentation, we sang “Happy Birthday” to Sophie to celebrate her sixth birthday. It was one of the most touching presentations that could quite possibly change the lives of audience members, SAB is hopeful to bring Scarpo to campus in the future.

The convention also featured showcases, where performers and acts had their time to shine.

“There are many great opportunities to see acts and performers; which give students the opportunity to determine what would be a good fit to bring to campus,” said Smith.

We experienced a range of acts at these showcases from a contortionist who was able to fit his whole body through a tennis racket, and a hypnotist who was able to get people in the audience to stand on their chairs pretending they were in a rock band and be terrified of their own belt thinking it was a snake. We never knew what kind of acts we were going to see every night.

After the showcases, we would be able to meet the people we just saw on stage and get the chance to talk to them.  One member had a tarot card reading done that left me in tears, a customized pancake that said SAB on it, and someone transferring an ‘x’ drawn on their wrist to someone’s palm with just the tap of someone’s hand. My mind was blown every turn I made.

A memorable moment was when Daniel Franzese tied the strings of the hoodie he gave me, put sunglasses on my face and said the words “Welcome to the House of Coco.” If anyone of you are not understanding my reference, Daniel Franzese played Damien in the hit movie, “Mean Girls.” He even threw out candy canes to us while we were waiting to meet with him.

At the end of every night, we all sat together and discussed who we enjoyed throughout the day and would want to bring to Monmouth University for an event next year. After deliberating we came up with a list of people we enjoyed, and my advisor took the list and tried to book as many as she could for next year. Emily Marsh, a junior business administration student, also Festivals Chair for SAB shared that, “NACA was an amazing experience and we are all super excited to share the talent there with the rest of campus.”

Looking back at the experience, all e-board members were ecstatic that they attended the National Convention. SAB had the opportunity to build connections with other activities committees at different universities. Sabina Graziano, a sophomore computer science student, also a general member of SAB said, “NACA was amazing and I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to go.”

Keep an eye out for the exciting and unique events that SAB will be brining to campus throughout the semester. Also, if you are interested in getting involved in SAB there are meetings every week at 3:00 p.m. on the third floor of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center.

PHOTO TAKEN by Amber Galati