The Staff Senate Activities Committee’s 12 members have teamed up to facilitate six program events in an effort to recognize the hard work and value of Clemson staff. Each month, the committee meets to discuss and coordinate its upcoming events.

Brennan Beck, director of military and veteran engagement and a member of the committee, said the differing viewpoints, connections and experiences of each committee member enhances their collaboration.

“Seeing a group of staff from different backgrounds, interests, personalities and experiences band together as a team in support of all Clemson staff has been the best part of serving on Staff Senate,” said Beck.

“We have seen the quiet introverts use their skills and connections, the outgoing extroverts rally support and give presentations, and everyone pitch in with their own talents and abilities. We have a variety of experiences and interests, which leads to lots of neat ideas and opportunities.”

It’s been a challenge to make plans for fall events in light of the pandemic and uncertainty about bringing groups together. However, Beck credits the committee’s leadership for its ability to operate amidst uncertain times.

“I am confident we will come up with creative solutions to accomplish the tasks we’ve set out. These times require us to remain flexible, communicate and work together to figure out how we can best serve our fellow staff. It may not be how we originally envisioned, but we’ll do our best given the situation presented for us,” Beck said.

One plan is to recognize the hard work of essential groups who made sure the University kept running during modified operations due to COVID-19. Some of the biggest events the activities committee has on its radar include the Military Appreciation Brunch and an event for Facilities personnel.

“We want to focus on uniting our Clemson community. This is especially important as we’ve all been accustomed to physical distancing efforts. We want to think creatively on ways we can maintain health and safety standards while bringing people together as part of the Clemson Family,” Beck said.

“We also want to recognize the contributions of personnel who have sacrificed much, be it veterans, first-responders, the Emergency Operations Center and Facilities personnel.”

Jake Anderson, recruitment manager for College of Business advising, has worked alongside Beck and the activities committee for a year. For Anderson, working with veteran groups in events like the Military Appreciation Brunch has been an enlightening experience.

“Engaging with our student veterans, staff and faculty veterans and outside veteran organizations like Upstate Warrior Solution at the Staff Senate Military Appreciation Brunch last fall was one of the best moments. Seeing an event come together where we were able to celebrate and recognize these members from our community was truly a highlight for me,” Anderson said.

Beck, Anderson and the rest of the Activities Committee want to continue recognizing the work of University staff and are optimistic about the Clemson community’s ability to push forward despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

“The heart of everything we do in activities is people. When I hear, ‘there’s something in these hills,’ I know what that something is. It’s the special people who make Clemson such a special place,” Beck said.

“Now, more than ever, we hope to bring people together, to uplift those who deserve to be recognized and offer opportunities for all staff to join together and have fun. It may not be easy given our current situations, but we have a team that’s up to the challenge.”