As apart of the Leader advancement Protocol, we are required to be at least 2 registered student organizations (RSO) and hold a leadership position in one. One of my favorite organizations that I have ever been a part of is Campus Grow. Campus Grow is an RSO affiliated with the Biology Department, that focuses on food security, growing plants and urban farming. Working at the CMU Greenhouse has taught me so much about plants, so I have learned to love bring in this organization. Not only have I been in the organization for two years, but I have been the President/Garden Coordinator for 1 year.
Being the President and Garden Coordinator has been one of the most rewarding and most challenging experiences of my collegiate career. I have loved being able to help teach individuals about plants and gardening. I have also loved being able to plan events and coordinate the community garden and see it come to fruition.
While I have loved being the President and Garden Coordinator of Campus Grow, there have definitely been some challenges that have accompanied it. This was my first time as a president of an organization, so it was a bit of a learning curve at first. Along with that, when I became president/ garden coordinator in May 2017, the previous president left me with only the email passwords, and the key to the shed at the community garden, and there was on one else on e-baord at the time. So, I was not left with much guidance, which is difficult in any leadership position. Other than the faculty advisor, there was no one else responsible for Campus Grow other than me. This definitely taught me how to build an organization from the bottom.
My first community gardening season was successful with over 50 gardeners, and plenty of volunteer help. We made it through an interesting Michigan farming season, especially with the imfafous flood of 2017 that decimated much of our garden. When the school year started, there was enough interest to fill the entire e-board, and we had weekly general meetings educating students about food security, planting, and urban farming. While there has certainly been challenges, I would want want to trade my leadership role and experience gained at Campus Grow with anything. I have learned that not everything leadership position is equal. This experience has taught me many lessons that I will find useful, especially starting a career in the nonprofit sector.