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Club week is over, and many students probably spent their weekend catching up on sleep and basking in the excitement of becoming an official member of a social club. Throughout the week, we shared photos from previous club weeks on social media, and alumni bonded over shared experiences and memories of forming bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood.

“Participating in a social club enriched my Harding experience by providing an avenue to build strong, lasting friendships that only grew stronger the further I went along in school,” Chris Quattlebaum (’11) said. “I was able to create friendships with not only those who I pledged with but also with the older members of TNT.”

Quattlebaum said that even to this day, there are moments he thinks back on during club week that remind him how much he enjoyed the experience.

“The thing I value the most about my social club participation is the friendships that I was able to form,” he said. “These are lifelong relationships and don’t just end once you graduate. Ten other guys from my pledge class and I still get together a couple times each year for a little reunion weekend. We update each other on our lives, tell the stories from our time in college that we always tell when we get together, and end up laughing the entire weekend.”

Jennifer Gibson (’10) was a charter member of Zeta Pi Zeta in 2009 and said she really enjoyed the unique perspective that starting a new club gave her.

“The process allowed us to work through problems and see the club process from another angle,” she said. “We got to be creative and come up with something that was ours.”

Her advice to new club members is to jump in and be involved in as many activities as possible.

“Do Spring Sing, play sports, go to functions, or serve as an officer,” she said. “You pledged and did a lot of work to become part of a family. You need to take advantage of that family and do some fun stuff with them.”

For many people, relationships that are made at Harding don’t stop after graduation. They carry on throughout a lifetime, and many of those relationships begin with a week of silly outfits, cheering until you lose your voice, and learning about traditions.

“What people need to know is, that, once you get off Harding’s campus, your club experience isn’t over,” Quattlebaum said. “The lifelong relationships that you form with people in your club during your time at Harding will continue. I hope that everyone will be able to look back on their time in their respective clubs with fond memories and friends who last a lifetime.”

Hannah Owens, director of news services 

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The 57th annual National Leadership Forum on campus began Sunday, June 2. This program, open to high school students in grades 9-12, provides students with opportunities to develop leadership skills, examine foreign policy, study social issues, and learn about the traditions and ideals upon which this country was established.

Yesterday afternoon, I attended a session on social media led by Assistant Professor of Communication Jim Miller. With my extreme fascination in all forms of social media, I was very interested in what issues would be discussed in this setting and how teenagers would respond.

In a packed classroom full of determined student leaders, Miller challenged participants to use social media for social good. Attendants discussed examples of using social media for both good and bad. I was impressed with many students’ ability to identify positive and negative social media methods.

In addition to revealing shocking statistics about the world’s social media usage, Miller shared stories of positive and negative situations that have happened as a result of social media. Many students spoke up in class, displaying their knowledge of the realistic dangers of using social media inappropriately and how to identify misuse. They were also able to provide examples of ways in which people and organizations have utilized it for social good.

At the end of each session, Miller challenged the group to go out and answer the question “How can teens make a difference in the world?” using Vine, a mobile app that allows users to create six-second video clips, and the hashtag #NLF13. After the session, I went and looked at a few. To see some of the student-created Vine videos, visit Twitter and search #NFL13. You’ll be surprised at some of the things these bright students can create. This session is just one of the many classes students are able to attend and learn how be the leaders they are.

Hannah Beall Owens, news director

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