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Leadership faces crunch time

Girls replace four-inch heels for flip-flops, while guys exchange jeans for tuxedos to attend “the biggest event of the school year.” Hundreds attend Night of the Stars (NOTS) an evening of dinner, movies, and awards, often ignorant to the leadership class’ labor.

“I just go to have fun and don’t really notice all the details,” Rachel Wilhelm, ’11, said. “If you look at it, you figure it would take a lot of work, but I don’t really pay attention.”

Students will walk through a coral reef, to see tables clothed with fishbowl centerpieces, personalized nametags, walls covered with vinyl, seaweed and additional decorates, March 29. However, many do not realize the obstacles the team faces each year, including a catered dinner, invitations and presenting awards.

?We feel it?s the biggest event of the school year,? Samantha Kirkorian, student body president, ?08, said. ?It requires the most time, planning, effort and participation from the whole class. Without every student helping we could not pull off the night smoothly.?

NOTS began 14 years ago as an alternative to a formal dance. Six-year leadership adviser, Josh Tosland, believes students most look forward to this the entire year.

?It is a successful tradition,? Tosland said, ?which gives students an opportunity to participate in an event as a student body off-campus. It teaches the class how to organize big events and better communicate with people on a professional level. It forces all students to take responsibility for their assigned tasks.?

Although the leadership team began focusing on NOTS after powderpuff and the beach trip, they were unable to decide on the “Underwater Enchantment” theme until narrowing pros and cons in a several week discussion.

?This is my fourth year and we have never spent so much time deciding on a theme,? Kirkorian said. “As part of the decoration committee, it’s difficult for us to figure out how to set the atmosphere of the night. Stuff students won?t notice, causes the most stress.?

The majority of Kirkorian’s stress comes from the shipment of 800 yards of gossamer for the ceiling attraction. In order to track down the package, she needed to wake up at 5 A.M.,to call for a status update. Being a day prior to formal, the missing $2000 worth of material and additional $600 shipping fee creates frustration and hurts their budget.

?If they can’t find it, I need to go to every fabric store in Fresno to get that much gossamer,? Kirkorian said. ?Tosland doesn’t force anything on us just gives ideas. He is good about making us do the work, by making us responsible to make the phone calls, arrangements and all the plans.?

Fifth period gives students 50 minutes to finish tasks in class on decorating, however, many work after hours to perfect details.

“We needed to get together over spring break to make the seaweed,” Kirkorian said. “Only about 5 of 30 showed up. We only were able to use one knife to cut the cardboard into a ton of pieces, then paint them.”

Kirkorian, one of five returning students, works to smooth the 24 newbies’ transition into the class. First year leadership member, sophomore Sophia Cook, spent a few hours hot-gluing seaweed leaves.

In addition to decorating tasks, Cook helped raised additional funds by holding a pizza lunch, March 27.

“It is definitely stressful doing everything for the actual event and doing other projects,” Cook said. “I think we made a good profit though. I always thought leadership was really simple thing to do, but it’s tons of work. ”

Fellow first time student Mitchell Callisch, ?09, agrees with Tosland?s assessment about the responsibility involved with the class.

?It has given me a higher sense of work ethic,? Callisch said. ?It has forced me to get things done and pay attention to deadlines. I knew a lot of work was involved before I signed up for the class, but I didn’t know what it was like. I have to take time out of my schedule to make sure things get done on time.?

The team anticipates the relief of stress, which is over 24 hours away.

?During the night it?s great to look around and see everything come together,? Kirkorian said. ?It is the biggest relief just to sit in class and not think about all these things: who I need to call back, what package I?m waiting for. Your brain is cleared. You don?t realize how much stress an event involved until it is over.?

For updates on class movies check out Benjamin Dang’s March 25, 2008, article, Seniors film murder mystery, Brittany Shaffer’s March 28 Junior film travels time, Suzanna Quiring’s March 26, 2008, article, Sophomore filmmakers overcomes stress, obstacles or Austin Ward’s March 24, 2008, article, Click remake defines freshman film.

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