Asheville Campus Entertainment in search of general body members


Noelle Martin

Ava Wolchesky (left) and Jada Smith (right) discuss upcoming plans within the Asheville Campus Entertainment office.

Noelle Martin, [email protected], contributor writer

Asheville Campus Entertainment struggles with organizing campus events and seeks to recruit new general body members.

Due to factors such as COVID-19, lack of employees and general body members, ACE’s on-campus events slowed down last semester. With a current total of seven staff members, planning events becomes difficult for student employees who struggle with balancing multiple schedules without general body members.

“ACE had a lot of general body members last year to help set up events, so it didn’t put pressure on all four of (the student employees),” said Ava Wolchesky, director of craftworks at ACE. “I feel like everyone is under stress with the pandemic, so that’s why people aren’t really volunteering.”

General body members volunteer and act as ambassadors for ACE and the student communities. While ACE’s student employees plan and budget entertainment events for campus, general body members act as ambassadors for the student communities, offer ideas for events and set up and tear down materials needed.

As of now, there are no general body members on the ACE team.

“Last semester, we would be planning events month by month, which was unprofessional on our part. But then again, we were a whole new team last semester,” Wolchesky said. “No one trained us for this.”

Many of the employees at ACE find their work days in the office relatively easy and laid-back, with events being planned ahead of schedule.

“It’s definitely easier during a bigger event because it feels like I have more to do,” Wolchesky said. “We plan things out months in advance, so we don’t have to do too much in that time.”

While ACE student employees continue the search for a bigger team, they still stand for keeping student life and events a priority.

“A lot of my work revolves around making sure the team is on track and working with pro staff members about events and the team,” said Ariel Akuneme, president of ACE. “I’m hoping to build a community and create tradition for the Asheville campus community.”

Jada Smith, vice president of ACE, said she has big plans for what she hopes to accomplish with the organization.

“My biggest goal is to plan a big social event for the student body like a dance, a parade or something of that nature,” Smith said. “COVID has been limiting the possibilities of that happening or not.”

When ACE members and general body members are able to engage with student life and plan events, it promotes encouragement and social activities for both staff and community. Events such as Highsmith After Dark were an instant success for both students and ACE staff, according to Smith. 

“Everyone that put the effort in the behind-the-scenes planning for the event dressed up in costumes, as well as the student body that attended,” Smith said. “We had such a huge turnout of students and everyone was learning about campus organizations. There was a dance party and a costume contest.”

“You get to meet new people and make friends while doing this, and it always feels good to volunteer,” Wolchesky said. “If you want to apply for an ACE job in the future, you have a better chance (if) you are a general body member.”

Dustin Evatt-Young, the director of Highsmith Student Union, encourages members of ACE to plan out events ahead of time, as opposed to planning month-by-month.

“Dustin is helping us to have our whole semester out with events. It’s helpful in that way,” Wolchesky said. “But the thing is, it’s hard to reach out to other people and clubs.”

ACE continues to find more opportunities to work with student organizations in the future to encourage student life.

“Anyone can be a part of ACE, no matter what your interests are or your major. We welcome everyone from all backgrounds and encourage them to join us,” Smith said. “We are always looking for new members, new ideas and feedback.