Several students and faculty involved in Dakota State University Student Activities went from one extreme to the other over the course of the last week’s schedule. While this Thursday has been spent tucked away inside trying to find something to do with these snow days, last Thursday was quite the opposite for them. Led by Mandy Parpart, the Director of Student Activities, the students and faculty left to represent DSU at the National Association for Campus Activities Northern Plains Regional Conference (NACA) in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The busy weekend started out with the early Thursday morning drive from campus to St. Paul. After arriving at the hotel, there was no time to relax. The nine people in the van headed out of the vehicle, checked into their rooms, and changed outfits for the conference.
What outfits, you ask? Well, appearances in the previous years at NACA have helped DSU stick out and develop a reputation there. Students and faculty involved have had designated dress up days for each day of the conference. This year was no different. Thursday’s costumes were black dominoes. Each person wore a black shirt and black pants or shorts. Dots for the dominoes were made from white duct tape. Dots were placed on the shirts and pants with a line of duct tape at the waist to complete the center line of the domino. From a distance, the group of dominoes was easily spotted. Ha… dominoes… spotted…
Anyway, these were probably the most popular costumes from the weekend. Other dress up days included camouflage and guys versus girls DSU-themed dodgeball along with a referee.
NACA consisted of three main parts. There were learning sessions that the group split up into to discuss ways to improve campus activities with other schools, showcases where artists and performers would present their acts, and camp where booths were set up for the performers so the students and faculty could go sign them to bring them to campus. There were artists and performers of all sorts. Acts ranged from comedians and musicians to slam poets and lecturers and even included guys on roller skates and a few circus acts.
Lasting all day every day, the weekend was exhausting for the group. Sleep was only an afterthought as the days started to blend together. The students and faculty put a lot of effort into the conference, and because of it, have a strong set of performers coming to campus next school year that both students and faculty alike should consider attending to get the most out of their experience at DSU.