The Gustavian Weekly

‘GAC Talks’ premieres March 22

By Libby Larson Assistant News Editor | March 14, 2014 | News

Gustavus students, alumni, and faculty will have an opportunity to share their passions and inspire the campus community through the premier of GAC Talks, sponsored by the Gustavus Campus Activities Board (CAB).

The event will be held on Saturday, March 22 in Alumni Hall, beginning at 10 a.m.

According to CAB Advisor Andrea Junso, GAC Talks are modeled after TED (Technology, Education, Design) Talks and STO Talks, a similar program developed at St. Olaf College.

“We took the idea, and we adapted it to Gustavus. We [thought] what are Gusties looking for? What can our community share? And then, we talked about social justice, that’s where we got the tagline, ‘ideas inspiring action,’” Junso said.

The format of the event will closely resemble TED Talks, which are a series of lectures promoted as “ideas worth sharing.”

Each GAC Talk will be between five and fifteen minutes in length, and though a wide variety of topics will be presented during the conference, each will be focused around the concept of inspiring action.

While the event is free for Gustavus students, a ticket is required for admission and can be picked up at the Campus Activities Office desk in the bottom floor of the Campus Center.

Applications for GAC Talks were open to the entire student body. The final roster of speakers will be determined after the applications are reviewed and an interview process is conducted this week.

Senior Caitlin Dow, Arts and Entertainment Executive for CAB, anticipates a day filled with a variety of well-thought out talks.

“I can tell you from the applications we received, all of the applicants are very passionate about their intended topic, so it should be an awesome event,” Dow said.

According to Junso, the current aim is to feature five student, faculty, and alumni speakers each.

CAB Co-President Jenny Marquette said the event promises to offer a wide range of perspectives and will allow attendees to learn about the passions and successes of their fellow Gusties.

“There are so many people doing these awesome things that they should be able to share. This is an avenue to be able to hear what they’re doing, hear their stories, what inspires them, and why they’re doing what they do on this campus, or what’s motivating students to go on these trips or do habitat for humanity, or things like that,” Marquette said.

Marquette also highlighted the importance of this event’s ability to highlight the accomplishments of members of the Gustavus community.

“There are so many amazing people on this campus that so many people don’t even know about, and this is our chance to meet them or hear their stories,” Marquette said.

CAB members hope that a successful debut will help the event establish GAC Talks as an annual event on campus.

“I’m looking for this to be one of the cornerstone programs at Gustavus. I want it to be something that students are looking forward to, and a way that they can hear things outside of the classroom setting, outside of the lecture style,” Junso said.

Marquette also hinted at plans to expand the conference in future years.

“I’m really excited to see it grow, and I’m kind of sad that I’m a junior, that I only get to see two years of it, unless I trick them into letting me talk as an alumni or something. I’m just really excited to see what it turns into and what we can make it,” Marquette said.

The CAB members said that planning for future GAC Talks will begin earlier in the academc year, providing sufficient opportunity for students to prepare their chosen topics and to garner alumni and faculty participation, showcasing the diverse perspectives of the Gusavus campus.