Pretty much the entire class:
As opposed to taking my usual humorous approach to these blog posts, I believe it is best to impart some honest critique for future iterations of the group action project. The reality was that while well-meaning, the group action projects were not the most successful. While there was definitely a lack of motivation due to spring quarter being the b*tch that she is (y’all really thought I was gonna just, not add some spice?), there were many logistical problems that could have been solved on the behalf of the professor and TA’s that would have not exacerbated the issue of college students being… well, just college students.
To make the group action projects more meaningful (and hopefully, more successful) for future students, I would recommend creating more collaboration between each individual group project in order to provide support for each other’s endeavors, as well as prevent excessive overlap in the ideas that are developed. In listening to the efforts of other groups during presentations, I often discovered that other groups essentially did the same exact project as ours because they, too, were unable to carry out their initial plans. Furthermore, it was common to see the same organizations that each group had reached out to, including Imperfect Produce and Brandless. It would be idealistic to prevent this, as I can only imagine the onslaught of spam-like messages that these organizations received, asking for representatives to come represent their organization or brand at seemingly credential-less students. Furthermore, if the classroom failed to create buzz in the UW community, or the greater Seattle area, then we could at least attend each other’s projects and show support.
A method that was successful for past leadership programs that I have been in includes the professors and teaching assistants creating a group of established “clientele” from within the greater Seattle area that addresses specific causes that are related to the course, and students are allowed to pick which organization they want to work with. In picking which organization they want to work with, there would be a designated mutual interest between the students and these third-parties, so there would be little time wasted in trying to get a hold of organizations that are potentially interested, or are willing to lend their resources to the class’ benefit. If an organization is ensured to benefit in terms of publicity or everyday working procedures from these events, it would make it easier for students to connect with persons on that level. Additionally, it would be conducive to more students working towards larger group projects that have larger impact, and thus, would create better group morale in feeling as though the project will be substantial and potentially much more successful.
For myself, the group action projects ultimately put a damper on the course and took away from the educational aspect of the material when I was caught up worrying about how to take care of the group action project. While I enjoyed the people I met through the class and the material was interesting, it would be best to institute activities or projects that make us feel motivated to share what we have learned. All the best luck to those planning the future iterations of this course! Have a great summer, y’all!