By: Andrea Woods
As a student, you want to stand out amongst your peers. In order to do so, one must be dedicated to go the extra mile. However, any one can go the extra mile, but can you do it without making your counter parts feel inferior or less than? Throughout life, I have grown to learn that people understand love before they understand anything else. Mankind understands kindness, care, and compassion. My goal as a person is to love. Love is a language that everyone comprehends and receives. Being a law school student is historically competitive, but to understand you have a home away from home is priceless. Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley School of Law professors and staff revolve around this moto. Our professors are available for more than academics. They provide advice and a listening ear. I am currently the President of Amnesty International and I have a desire to further the support of our students. My goal is to provide the student body with supporting care as much as possible while at their home away from home.
This past Michaelmas Term, 2014, many of our students expressed that they were unable to go home for Thanksgiving break, or just wanted to focus on their studies and save their money for their flight home for Christmas. However, they still wanted to have a family gathering and a dinner that reminded them of home. I understand that as a student most of us do not have our families close by and sometimes need a gathering that reminds us of the love and fellowship that we all share when at ho
me for the holidays. So I decided something needed to be done. I am one who loves to cook and enjoys great food and I wanted to create a dinner and atmosphere that would kindle nostalgic memories for our students. I wanted so much in so little time. It was two weeks until Thanksgiving and three weeks before finals. If I was to do anything, it had to be quick. Two Tuesdays before Thanksgiving I had to petition the Student Bar Association for a proposed budget of $1,500. It was a unanimous vote for the idea but there were no funds relinquished until the SBA received an itemized list and a sign-up sheet of all potential students. I knew I had to have signatures as soon as possible. I requested the next day a table reservation in the Cooley Center, which would take a few days to be approved, but I did not have that kind of time. However, when they found out what I was planning, they did everything that they could to help. I was only able to get one weekday and a Saturday reservation. Students found out what the SBA was trying to help Amnesty accomplish and they wanted to assist and support. Over 80 students signed the sheet to attend.
By this time, I had to price every ingredient and supply for the dinner. It took me four hours to complete the task at the local Mejier. I could not imagine this part requiring such tedious diligence. It was like preparing for class, but the job got done. The next week the budget was released. Now I had to find a facility to accommodate such a large number of students and families. I mentioned to my spiritual parents what I wanted to accomplish and they quickly gave their support. They provided me with the keys to a state of the art kitchen and the community gym, because it was an event to support our local community members. They also suggested that I post a sign-up sheet at the church to find more volunteers. Twenty volunteers signed up. Then student after student began to inquire about how they could support the event. This was very monumental to Amnesty International because at this time we were very few in number. I was determined to continue until the completion of this project. Left only with a few days, Thanksgiving was around the corner and then finals. Help began to come from all over through the sacrifice of our dedicated students. As more help became available, I was able to delegate different tasks to my responsible peers. This allowed me to receive more time to prepare for finals. All was well and I would do it all over again.