HAAS Center for Public Service Events

There were also a bunch of events through the HAAS Center for Public Service.  On April 18-19, they had an Emerging leaders retreat.  I didn’t get much out of it.  It was at the beach, which was nice, but the only content at the retreat was a set of activities designed to make us think about what public service means to us.  Since I had already given a lot of thought to that topic, it was pretty much just a day at the beach when I should have been writing an essay (I ended up really proud of the essay, though – it was the one on Marx, Mill, and Remix that I wrote for SLE and talked about in “Liberalism”).

The Wednesday after that retreat (also after the first draft of the essay was due), though, there was a workshop on event planning.  There was tons of useful information – how to deal with big name speakers, how to not spend thousands of dollars on events (one tip: don’t schedule your meetings / talks during mealtimes.  That way, you don’t have to feed the people who attend), who to talk to for reserving rooms and equipment, where to get equipment for free, rules and regulations… It was one of the most practical / useful workshops I attended all year.

May 1, there was also an event on grantwriting.  Since a nonprofit will never fire its fundraiser, good career prospects.  Probably not something that I would want to do fulltime, but it seems like a very interesting thing to do – you get exposure to the entirety of the organization / thing that you’re writing the grant proposal for, and it uses the same persuasion and research skills that I learned in debate.

Towards the end of the term, I also got involved in a tutoring program.  The program is aimed at tutoring the children of Stanford staff (think custodial staff, not faculty), and this Spring was its pilot.  It’ll be getting into full stride next year.  It was a really good experience.  Similar experiences to coaching debate, but it’s one on one and helps more than the people who are already the intellectual elite.