The Athletic Conservatory Engagement committee (ACE) is a new addition to LUCC.
The committee was originally part of now LUCC President and fifth year Jack Canfield’s campaign to integrate the Lawrence community.
“It didn’t make sense to me why there was such a divide on campus, so I wanted to take a more official and specific role in changing [that aspect] of our community,” Canfield said.
ACE allows students to take unique possession of their community.
“While a lot of groups [on campus] are focused outward, serving the larger community, ACE is focused on making Lawrence a more fun place, [allowing students] to take ownership of Lawrence in a different way,” Canfield said.
Currently, senior English and Vocal Performance double major Elena Stabile and junior basketball player and Economics major Jamie Nikitas, lead ACE.
“Our mission is not specifically getting athletes and conservatory students together engaged but also getting the rest of campus excited about these two groups which contribute a huge amount to the community,” Stabile said.
Members of ACE like sophomore Paige Witter agree with this mission. Witter joined the committee after the end of her swim season.
“During my swim season, I stuck with my swimmers and didn’t go out to support others and I thought that was a shame,” Witter said. “There’s a lot of overlaps between the two groups in what they do and what they’re dedicated to.”
Witter is currently working with ACE on part two of the fight song competition, which is working on getting people to submit music to the lyrics that were submitted last year.
Besides this, ACE started the year off by organizing a pep rally for the Welcome Week football game, with Mike Ruth’s re-vamped pep band and leading the Flip-Flop Weekend event that is planned to take place every term.
“We wanted to give LU Flip-Flop the attention it deserves because it sort of fell by the way side,” Stabile said.
Through all of their activities, ACE hopes to foster all sorts of connections on campus.
“College is about building relationships with people that you wouldn’t think to, and that is a challenge, but those relationships are the ones that you learn most from,” reminded Canfield.
“ACE emphasizes that there are similarities between these two groups that can bring us together as Lawrentians,” said Witter. “There [are] a lot of overlaps between the two groups in what they do and what they’re dedicated to.”
Despite this, individuals involved in ACE recognize that change will take time.
“It is a culture change that takes a lot of work and a lot of time. Theoretically if nothing were to change—even though I think stuff already has—we have people on the Committee who would have never otherwise interacted with each other. So, even if nothing campus wise changes, what is happening in the committee will have ripple effects,” Canfield said.
Ultimately, the purpose of ACE is to create a more cohesively engaged community.
“The goal is to get people in the same space,” concluded Stabile.