From Wednesday, March 15, through Saturday, March 18, Union College hosted the 67th F
rom Wed. March 15, through Sat.March 18, Union College hosted the 67th annual Adventist Intercollegiate Association (AIA) convention. AIA is an organization of student governments from Adventist colleges in the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, AIA houses an executive team made up of students from all over the North American Division (NAD).
While each college has its own student body association program, AIA connects them, and provides workshops, networking, and other training for the executive team and officers such as public relations and newspaper editors.
Each Adventist college of the NAD alternates hosting AIA, and this year was Union's turn. The last time Union hosted AIA was in 2005. Hosting the event allows Union to highlight everything that makes our campus special. For example, while some colleges board the AIA members in nearby hotels, Union hosts all the members in its on-campus dorms.
While at Union, AIA participants also had the opportunity to partake in a NAD first. The AIA executive team arrived Tues., March 14, in preparation for the Facebook Live event “Is This Thing On?” which occurred that evening. Produced by the NAD, “Is This Thing On?” was the first in a series of live Q&As with leaders of the Adventist Church. For those interested, the video is still available on the NAD Facebook page.
Along with the AIA executive team, many representatives from the North American Adventist colleges comprised the studio audience. While the majority of the questions were fielded from present students, online viewers were encouraged to submit questions using the hashtag #NADnow.
By the conclusion of the live stream, the video had been viewed over 14,000 times.
After taking part in “Is This Thing On?” the AIA conference officially kicked off Wednesday afternoon with workshops, meetings and interactive activities. While most of the meetings happened in the Don Love Building, the breakout sessions occurred all over campus.
The breakout sessions were divided up by positions. For example, the social vice presidents networked and learned about event coordination together, while the presidents held their own meetings and workshops.
AIA used Friday to hold a business meeting, during which all members reviewed the AIA constitution and bylaws, and proposed and passed amendments. AIA officer elections also took place during this session.
Although the majority of AIA was hosted on Union’s campus, on Thursday meetings took place in the west chamber room of the state capitol. In addition to a banquet held Thursday evening at Wilderness Ridge, the members enjoyed a trip to the Omaha Zoo on Saturday.
I was able to talk with Anthony Gann, Union’s current ASB executive VP and incoming president, about his views on AIA. “Talking with outgoing presidents has been useful; the advice they have is amazing,” says Gann. “I would say the meetings that I’ve held with all of the incoming presidents have been just as useful, if not more. Our vision, as AIA and as incoming presidents, is to unite with all the other schools, to share ideas, and to work with each other.”
ASB appreciates the warm welcome our student body extended to the AIA executive team and to all its members.
Autumn Mott is a sophomore studying communication.