The Experience of the Alt Breaks Director
A new semester brings new opportunities. As of this week, applications have opened for students to apply to be a Director or Officer of the Wisconsin Union Directorate (WUD).
I got involved with the WUD my freshman year when I went to the Alternative Breaks Committee opening meeting. The director and all of the associate directors were so welcoming and provided an incredible environment to program, learn, and make new friends. I was instantly hooked to say the least. As time went on, I became a site leader on a spring break trip to Memphis, TN, the Associate Director of Marketing and Outreach, and now, the Director of Alternative Breaks.
When I accepted the director position, Covid-19 was not on many people’s radars. I was eagerly thinking about the types of trips we would be planning across the country as well as new on campus programming we could incorporate. When I received the text from WiscAlterts that school would be all virtual and that they did not know when it would end, I knew my time as director would be interesting. Last summer was filled with meetings discussing how the Union would program virtually and how we were going to to program more intentionally to further the discussion and action around racial justice. These conversations have continued throughout the semester and are truly the undercurrent of everything WUD does.
As the Director, I have been able to lead a group of students in providing an outlet to the campus community to discuss social justice topics they are passionate about, promote organizations in Madison, and creating a space for people to meet others and make new friends. Discussions have been difficult but important, and the challenges of the pandemic has taught me new things about leadership and resilience. It quickly became clear how important outlets other than academics are, and providing a safe, fun, and welcoming space for anyone to join has been my number one goal throughout my tenure.
The Wisconsin Union Directorate promotes education and development for its student leaders. It has connected me to alumni who have continued promoting increased equity and social justice while using the skills they gained in WUD. It has provided me with a family of other dedicated, passionate students who motivate me to be the best leader, student, and person I can be. Finally, it provided a platform for me to encourage others to dive into what they are passionate about. I highly encourage you to apply to be a director of a Wisconsin Union Directorate Committee. It truly is an experience of a lifetime!
Written by Regina Golding, Alternative Breaks Committee Director