by 2018-18 HSC President, Nicole Guentzel ’19
Honors Student Council (HSC) has had an exciting year! Our mission is to form a strong community of honors students on campus, while encouraging students to pursue life-long learning. We worked toward this mission by providing networking opportunities for honors students with other students, staff, and faculty, as well as, by encouraging members to attend events that will challenge their current way of thinking.
We started off this year’s programming with a Howdy Week social where new freshmen had a chance to meet “Old Nerds,” non-freshmen honors students. The freshmen learned about what to expect from their classes and college life while enjoying popsicles, outdoor games, and a water balloon fight. Did you know that by 1968 all of the academic colleges at Texas A&M sponsored honors programs? That made this year the 50th anniversary of honors education at Texas A&M! LAUNCH: Honors held a large celebration with plenty of delicious cake and riveting conversations.
A major goal of HSC has been to increase college and departmental honors program visibility within the organization, since historically, the University Honors Program has been the sole program to participate. We worked toward this objective by expanding our listserv to include every honors student on campus. We successfully expanded our outreach to 333 active members with six additional honors programs represented by program representatives. To be considered an active member of HSC a student had to attend either one social and one academic event, or two academic events that were approved by HSC.
Last year the average attendance at a Donuts and Discussion was 10-12 students. This year our Donuts and Discussion events ranged from 22-109 attendees and we had to frequently turn students away due to fire code laws. To accommodate this growth we hosted several froyo nights, a senate debate watch party, a bowling event at Grand Station, and a theater to watch Avengers Endgame.
We also piloted a Google form point submission process to replace emailing in selfies. Along with the standard selfie we asked students to write a short description of what they learned or how they were impacted by the event. This is what some students wrote about the events they attended to earn HSC points:
“One thing that hit me during the poster sessions was that I could definitely do something like that in the future. […] I’m going to shoot for doing a poster next semester!”
“I was not aware how closely related anti-Semitism and Islamophobia were. This event helped open my eyes to the struggles of others that I was not so fully aware of.”
We are excited for another year of programming designed to connect students to resources and opportunities, as well as, to thought-provoking events to further their education.
Nicole’s post was originally included in With Honors vol. 3, a newsletter for our Honors Former Students. To read more of With Honors, visit http://tx.ag/WithHonors.