As a sophomore, I first heard about the Association for Campus Entertainment (ACE) when they advertised that Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, my favorite band, would be performing a 10th anniversary concert at St. Lawrence that winter. With a fan girl desire, I joined ACE, a group that organizes all forms of campus entertainment from concerts to movies to comedians, solely for the purpose of meeting my idol and SLU alumna, Grace Potter.
As the day of the concert approached, I could barely contain my excitement at the thought of meeting Grace! I made sure to rehearse what I wanted to say when I FINALLY met her because surely I would be star-struck. Before the big moment though, I had a full day of preparations for her arrival. I woke up at 5 a.m. that day to build a stage alongside ACE members in below zero temperatures – only to take it all down after the show that night. I spent the day retrieving food and supplies for crewmembers, taking tickets at the door, and working crowd control throughout the show. Although it was a lot of work, the day did have some perks, like when the ACE crew got to stand in front of the stage and dance the night away to our favorite GPN songs, and after the show when I got to meet the one and only, Grace Potter.
While that day remains special to me partly because I got to meet one of my favorite rock stars, it also was the day I found my niche and passion at St. Lawrence. While at first I only applied to ACE to fulfill a lifelong dream to meet one of my idols, I realized that I found a group of people I could truly connect with. Members of ACE all share a general passion for entertainment – whether it's music, comedy, movies, or even ghost hunters and exotic animal enthusiasts. Through this organization, I have met not only some top-notch performers at our events, but also many of my best friends who share this same passion.
Now as a senior and president of the organization, I have stayed with ACE because of the passionate people (although secretly I hope Grace Potter will return for another concert and I’ll get to meet her once more). We prepared for this year's FallFest (starring the Cold War Kids and American Babies) by selling tickets, setting up the stage, advertising the show, and working on hospitality for the bands (which sometimes features odd requests). I’m proud to say I am a member of ACE and see our work pay off.
ACE is a great organization to get involved with for those interested in music and entertainment. It has allowed me to meet like-minded students, and it’s also a great way to see all that goes into an event including booking artists, setting up and taking down the stage, and providing hospitality for the performers. Most importantly, though, its helped me find my niche as a leader at SLU and completely changed my college experience. I’ve learned so much as a member of ACE since that first Grace Potter and the Nocturnals show, it’s hard to see my time in the organization come to an end, but I am so excited for what the rest of my year in ACE has in store! For those who are just beginning their time at St. Lawrence, I encourage you to try out a new club or organization or team, and you just might find your niche unexpectedly like I did.