Behind the Scenes: COMM Week 2021

By: Allyson Haefke, Liz Cichowski & Jaclyn DeMeuse

 

Many Communication department students know about COMM Week but don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. COMM Week will look different this year compared to years past because it will be completely virtual. This is the 5th anniversary of COMM Week, with all other years being in-person, involving close interaction with students. The events that COMM Week usually held allowed students to mingle with one another, meet with their faculty, and network with local businesses. These events look different this year but will still be run by determined students eager to educate others on what life will be like outside of the classroom.

Communication Week, also known as COMM Week, is a Communication department event focused on student leadership and networking opportunities. According to Phil Clampitt, John Blair Endowed Chair of Communication, the goal is to engage the students and faculty in an immersive attempt to guide Communication students toward their future aspirations. COMM Week uses friendly competitions with real prizes, educational and immersive alumni panels, and banquet-style gatherings to celebrate department achievements to reach these goals. COMM Week relies on students to plan these events, and they can get involved with the COMM Week planning team by reaching out to former organizers and overseeing faculty. There is no application process. The team is decided by the communication department faculty and previous directors based on recommendations and the students’ academic, personal, and professional qualities. They will have an interview with the previous COMM Week Directors to determine their time management and group work skills and whether they will be a good fit for the next COMM Week team.

The COMM Week planning team has a wide range of obligations. The COMM Week team must work with local businesses and UW-Green Bay Alumni to provide varying events to students where they can learn more about life after graduation. Student planners will also need to know to coordinate these events, including the location, dining, operations, time-management, and crisis-management. This year COMM Week will be virtual due to the global pandemic, so some things, like locations and dining options, aren’t necessary. Planners will need to create coordinated messages to advertise COMM Week on all platforms; social media, in-person, the COMM Week website, and even local news stations. Matthew Knoke, social media manager for COMM Week, says, “This all takes time from our busy schedules, but it is worth it because it gives us real-world experience outside of the classroom.” As a COMM Week Co-director, Lindsay Fanning assigns projects and tasks, manages the COMM Week team’s goals, coordinates with sponsors and faculty, and makes the final decisions. According to Lindsay, directing and managing takes a lot of time and effort, but with a great team, everything runs more smoothly.

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