Published in The Bells on Mar 7, 2018
The spring semester has introduced many new organizations onto campus, including the Student Event Planning Association (SEPA).
The official SEPA website describes the organization as such: “The Student Event Planners Association is a professional organization that caters to millennials in the event planning and hospitality industry. Our mission is to develop student event planners into professionals.”
The UMHB group adds that it also prepares students, professionals and businesses for success in the event planning and hospitality industry. SEPA serves as a professional outlet for members to gain knowledge and experience, develop skills, and network.
Though this is only their first semester as a chapter on campus, the organization currently has around 20 to 30 members and has eight officers.
It has already held two meetings and will hold two more later in the semester. The organization invites public relations and communication professionals to speak at the meetings.
“Speakers help by bringing in real-world experts who do this and giving [students] tips,” public relations professor and SEPA adviser Avery Green, said.
“Classroom learning doesn’t always include the real world big picture concepts, so we build on what we learn in the classroom as far as event planning. Each speaker has their own spin on the tips they offer.”
To become an official member of the organization, students pay dues totaling to $50.
This includes chapter dues ($10 per semester) and national dues ($30 for one academic year).
Students must become a member of the national organization to be recognized as a member and put SEPA on their resume or LinkedIn account.
Treasurer Rhema Jones, a senior public relations major with a marketing minor, joined in hopes of gaining tips on how to be a development officer and do fundraising for development institutions.
When asked if it would be worth students’ time to invest in this organization Jones said, “I think it is a good opportunity to network with like-minded people.”
“We had Dayspring Fowler come in at the last meeting and it was awesome to hear her perspective,” Jones said. It is a nationally recognized organization so it looks great on a resume and it is definitely worth the $50 investment.”
Tori Bradbury, a senior public relations major with a minor in marketing, is the organization’s president.
“We mainly wanted to set a good foundation for the underclassmen and set a good example. We didn’t want to bite off more than we could chew and then flop, so we wanted to start the organization out slow so we could make that foundation to build upon in the future. There are still many things we want to do but we didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” Bradbury said.
“It is something that many people are interested in but don’t really have a path to learn about …. It applies to even the majors you wouldn’t think about, like the business majors or social work majors, and it is something that could be valuable to all students.” Bradbury said.
More information about the Student Event Planners Association and how to join can be found on their Facebook page at Student Event Planners Association – University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.