Four key organizations at Erskine—the Student Government Association (SGA), the Student Christian Association (SCA), the Judicial Council (Judicial), and the Erskine Entertainment Board (EEB)—help set the tone on campus as they deal with stewardship of student organization resources, support for faith commitment and service, issues of integrity and discipline, and choices regarding activities offered to students. We contacted student leaders representing each of these campus groups and will be spotlighting each of them. See an article on SGA President Michael Byrd here and one on Judicial Chair Justin Van Riper here.
Amy Burton, a senior from Ware Shoals, S.C., is serving her second term as Erskine Entertainment Board chair. In her freshman year, she was encouraged to run for vice chair by Kathleen Watkins ’15, who was EEB chair at that time, as well as by other members of EEB. She spent her sophomore year as vice chair and was the organization’s chair as a junior and again this year. “I am very thankful to have had a great mentor like Kathleen to guide me,” Burton says.
Now completing a double major in mathematics and business administration while maintaining active membership in a number of campus organizations, Burton was once a self-described “shy freshman,” “retreat[ing] into my shell” when she first came to Erskine. She had been an outgoing high school student, but at Erskine, she joined just one organization—the Erskine Entertainment Board. Her tenure as EEB vice chair gave her an opportunity to grow.
“My sophomore year was a game changer in my college experience,” she says. “It was the year I really stepped outside my comfort zone and began building the relationships that would shape the rest of my time at Erskine.”
The job description for EEB chair includes overseeing EEB functions, activities, and special events, calling and presiding over EEB meetings, assigning leaders and members for committees, appointing special committees, budgeting and overseeing allocation of funds, and serving as an SGA senator representing EEB.
The job also includes a lot of activity behind the scenes. In addition to weekly meetings, which Burton says serve as “brainstorming sessions for cool ideas and making decisions on events we have already scheduled,” she works with EEB leaders, the Student Services office, and sometimes leaders of other campus organizations, examining the ideas discussed in EEB meetings in order to “figure out how we can make them happen.”
Burton admits that “planning events can be a lot of work, and keeping my academics as a priority can sometimes be difficult.”
Her success at balancing her double major (not to mention her physics minor) with her leadership tasks is obvious: her name appears frequently on the Dean’s List and she has been named three times to Garnet Circle, which honors Erskine’s top academic achievers. She is a member of the Athenian Literary Society, the Omicron Delta Kappa and Alpha Chi honor societies, and is in her third year of service as a Student Life Assistant (now known as Resident Assistant).
She says she sometimes uses her EEB work “as my stress relief from my studies.”
Serving Erskine through the Erskine Entertainment Board suits Burton well. “After an EEB event is planned, no matter how stressful or how much work, seeing students enjoying themselves and building relationships is a great reward and really helps to recharge my spirit.” Under her leadership, EEB has brought notable artists to the Erskine campus, including “Boyce Avenue” for Spring Fling in 2015, and “Love and Theft” for Spring Fling last year.
Other EEB officers, all seniors, are Anna Racquel Robison, in her second year as vice chair, from Isle of Palms, S.C.; Danielle Reynolds, secretary, from Grovetown, Ga.; and Kaitlyn Kerley, treasurer, from North Charleston, S.C.
Burton realizes that some might question the wisdom of “allowing our entire leadership team to be seniors,” but she praises the EEB leaders as “wonderful to work with, bounce ideas off of, get different points of view” and notes that they have been diligent in laying the groundwork for next year’s new leaders, setting them up for success.
Working with EEB leaders who have “known and worked with each other for four years, giving us a great bond,” Amy Burton and the EEB team are giving considerable time and attention to the student leaders who will follow them in the organization.
“As seniors we have been working all year to build relationships with younger students, really getting to know them, and helping them find their potential and how they may best be able to use their talents,” she explains.
“We are all seniors, in the midst of planning our bright futures, while still making our senior year the best and training next year’s leaders to leave a lasting legacy.”