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Treasure/Minutes, St. Augustine Literary & Dramatic Society, 1901

treasure_inline380.jpgEvery issue, we invite one member of the college community to share their delight in an object found on campus. Here Shelly Mumma (Student Affairs) speaks to handwritten meeting minutes of a past student organization and how important record keeping is for students of today.

People don’t have beautiful handwriting like this now. And the prose! Now when people do minutes, it’s outlines, it’s bullet points. If people even write minutes, they’re not doing them like this anymore.

This must have been written near the end of their first year. Everyone had to pay 10 cents for their annual dues to be a member. The org was going to have some music performance but the musician “failed to appear.” And someone else was going to do something but they also “failed to appear.” Well, that doesn’t sound all that different from now! But it was all written up so eloquently. At one point, they just found out that their spiritual director’s father had passed away. So, in true student government-type style, they wrote a resolution of support full of phrases like “being resolved,” and “whereas this … .” It was very nice!

The person who was writing the minutes the very first year, I really got a sense of him. He was kind of sarcastic but he also had just a beautiful way of writing. Not very concise at all; but it was the storytelling of the group, not just the facts. Then, the voice changed a bit. You can see some of the personality changes as the leadership transitioned. We talk a lot with our students about this: “Keep records. You need to transition next year’s officers in.” This was a nice way to do that. You handed off the physical book. Now, it’s this Google Drive folder, and I’m going to share it with you … .

We hope that your student org affiliations are a way you keep up a connection with the campus, beyond the classroom. It’s the perfect laboratory for skills you use later in life.

What is someone in 100 years going to think about what our student organizations do now?

March 17, 2020