Communications 101: Running an Organization

A university education like Berkeley is made up of so many elements: fascinating lectures pushing us to think more deeply, engaging discourse between people of all different backgrounds, and once in a lifetime experiences with friends. But beyond the bounds of a Cal classroom or a dorm room, you’re able to see the way students come together and form societies and organizations of incredible complexity.

When I first arrived on campus, I had no idea that in three years I would be part of a team that runs one of oldest and one of the most intricate student organizations here: the UC Rally Committee. Founded in 1901, the Rally Committee is a campus wide organization that helps retain the history and upkeep all of the spirit and traditions developed on campus in the last century. In three years, I went from someone enjoying weekly meetings and Committee events to being the who plans and executes them. Not only has it been such an exciting and challenging experience, it’s also been one that’s provided me vital skills that will help me in the real world.

As the Vice Chair of Communications for the Committee it’s my job to make sure the important weekly documents and information for all general members go out every week in a timely fashion. Being able to use the Google Suite of applications makes things streamline so that every week I can send out agendas and slideshow to the Executive members. Utilizing tools like Google Groups to make mailing lists, customizable email templates, and schedule sending emails help me maximize my time and make sure my message are sent promptly. There are always so many practical tips and tricks like these I learn in the day-to-day of my position.

Even more than the logistical side of things, it’s also critical to work together with the Chair Person and the other Vice Chairs to ensure that everyone, from Membership to Rallies, runs their projects as smoothly and efficiently as possible. In order for the organization to function, we have to keep open and clear lines of communication, constantly updating each other through email threads and Slack messages, and using Google Calendar to plan meetings and publicize our events.

While every educational moment at Berkeley is so important, there is so much more beyond classes that we as students are able to learn. And that’s what I love about this school: the opportunities to do more, and do better in any area of interest or study. From aiding the environment to supporting local communities, Berkeley students have the unique ability to grow professional and practical skills without having a 9 to 5 office job, all while being a full time student. Most importantly for me, serving as the Vice Chair of Communications allows me to remember that there is a life outside of school, and it’s a place I can still grow, and have fun, all at the same time.