Brett Grimmer, Principia’s Student Events Manager, is responsible for mentoring the Social Assistants [SAs] and creating fun events for students. Grimmer meets every Tuesday with SAs Erica Suess, Jessica Alford, Kathryn Croney, Lauren Fulton, Michael McClelland, Juliette Roy, Dina Ogilvie, Serkie Carper, Mason Switzer, and Natalie Cooper.
Grimmer said, “I coach the SA team and the elected house Social Heads to express creativity and originality when brainstorming events. The best events are those created by the students. I am here to help them figure out how to take their own ideas and make them into successful, fun, and enriching community experiences.”
Because Homecoming was on campus this year, some students wondered if the Social Event Program’s [SEP] budget is big enough to support the visions they have for events. However, SA Michael McClelland said, “The social committee [decided that] we wanted to save money to have an extravagant spring formal. The challenge with having a big event like [Homecoming] on campus is making it just as good, if not better, [than an off campus event].”
Grimmer does not feel there is a shortage of budget either. “Principia has invested significantly in updating Perry Lounge recently and turning it into a multi-use space for the community,” he said. These improvements included an updated movie player, food, and new furniture. “Principia also approved the purchase of a golf cart for the Social Assistants to make them much more efficient when setting up, hosting, and cleaning up after events,” he added.
Senior Erica Suess has enjoyed being part of the SEP since fall 2012, and is now the SA student manager. “Being a Social Assistant is a rewarding job that allows me to be involved in the creation and implementation of almost every social event on campus,” said Suess. “I love being able to support the Principia community. It’s a unique opportunity to be a voice for the student body and to work with administration to make our ideas reality.”
Grimmer feels that the SEP is thriving, but said that many students may like the idea of having a smartphone app that would give them event information. “We experimented with [an app] during [New Student Orientation] and are assessing whether or not an event app will be a good fit here. [In addition,] Principia is considering an all-campus app—one that would provide information to the community for all departments: social, athletic, academic, speaker series, and CSO.
Grimmer said that he and the SAs welcome all feedback and are happy to do whatever they can to make the social experience at Principia as positive as possible.