Bonner Congress 2015
The University of Houston Bonner Leaders Program is hosting the 2015 Bonner Congress. Spearheaded by juniors Kaitlyn Palividas and Grace Schwarz, three committees have been created to address the numerous tasks required in preparation for BonCon 2015. Freshmen, in particular, have served as important players in the planning of this 3-day long event. Therefore, we asked three freshmen to share about BonCon, the committee they serve on and their goals for this congress.
Kiana Farokhpour, Logistics committee:
The Logistics Team for Bonner Congress is in charge of all the detail planning and making sure the whole Congress runs smoothly. This means assigning representatives with Host Bonners to stay with, providing emergency information should anything go wrong, managing parking, and setting up everyone’s favorite part of any event: the meals. We think of the minute details and all of the “what-if” scenerios when it comes to planning. Basically, we’re here to make stuff happen and get stuff done.
We’ve already completed many tasks, such as housing accommodations, parking validations, meal set-up, and preparing our campus for over 100 Bonner representatives. While new tasks pop up every so often with intense time constraints, the Logistics team manages to handle all these obstacles with ease. Most people do not enjoy planning every “mundane” detail about an event. However, every member of the Logistics Team enjoys the work they do and there is no greater satisfaction than seeing your planning come to life. Alongside the Social Team and Programming Team, we are all working to make BonCon 2015 a huge success while giving all incoming representatives what I like to call “a taste of Texas”, and even more so a taste of Houston, the most diverse city in the United States.
It is such a heartwarming thought that Bonners from across the nation are going to come together and develop these bright ideas to help enhance their communities back home. It may seem rather cliche, but a ripple starts with just one drop. BonCon is that one drop. When people gather together and are brainstorming ideas in order to help people, there’s just no force that can stop it. That is what makes all the stress from planning worth it. It is knowing that this event will help create a spark in at least one person, and that person will go on to make an everlasting difference in their community. Our director’s favorite quote is “be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity” by Horace Mann. I know that the Bonner Leaders Program will never have a problem winning a victory for humanity.
Usayd Siddiqi, Programming committee:
150 Bonners. 72 hours. 1 university. It’s our job as the programming committee of the annual Bonner Congress Meeting, or BonCon as we like to call it here, to create the program and make sure Bonners have amazing stuff to do in this incredible city of Houston. Our work revolves around managing the all group sessions and assisting in the creation a broad array of workshops for Bonners to enjoy. We’ve been spending the last few weeks brainstorming diverse workshop ideas, sending invitations to speakers, organizing the networking fair, contacting community partners, and so much more that we can’t wait to surprise Bonners with. But since Houstonians are so awesome, here is a sneak peek of what we have planned for you guys:
In our opening session, Bonners from across the nation will be introduced to the University of Houston, what to expect at BonCon and hear from a special keynote speaker everyone will love. We will hold an all-group panel session to elaborate on what it means to be “ALL IN” as a Bonner and how we “GET STUFF DONE”. In the closing session, all should expect to experience a more casual and laid back environment in which all will reflect on their past year, BonCon 2015 and look to the future. Throughout the remaining time, the programming committee and UH Bonners have planned numerous workshops for Bonners that highlight our service projects, explain the importance of leadership and service, display the beauty and diversity of the one of the best universities in one of the largest cities in the nation and much more.
As the programming committee, we have put in immense effort to create a program that will not only be filled with learning, knowledge and networking, but also fun, friendship and, most importantly, food! We are really excited and honored to have so many Bonners from all around the nation in one place and we will do our best to make sure that they never have an experience like the one they will have at BonCon 2015.
Martin Nguyen, Social committee:
This committee is a small group of people that develop all social aspects of BonCon 2015. The social committee is responsible for creating the media and planning many of the events that will be going on at BonCon2015.
Furthermore, the social committee updates the BonCon 2015 media platforms with new information to increaseinterest as well as hype for the upcoming Bonner congress.
The social team has currently been working on various designs for the BonCon logo as well planning the Friday and Saturday night activites. The social team is also involved in finding registration activities that will happen as soon as BonCon begins. Additionally, we are hosting a social media contest throughout the Bonner congress event and give away awesome prizes.
We’re looking forward to seeing many Bonners and getting to know everyone over the course of BonCon 2015. We’ll participate in a lot of cool workshops, games and other activities that will blow minds. We’re also looking forward to sharing a part of Texas with each and every Bonner through our food, music and cultural attractions. This year’s BonCon will be one of the biggest in history—after all, everything is bigger in Texas.