Metro-East Living

SWIC activities president: ‘Like the rock in the storm’

Lacey Crain chairs weekly board meetings, offers guidance, seeks advice, delegates work, reads reports, plans events and keeps those around her on task.

It’s all part of her responsibilities as president of the College Activities Board at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville.

“I have always been taught from the time I was little on to lead, not follow,” said the 20-year-old from Red Bud, who also is a student ambassador for Student Services and helps out in the cyber lounge on campus. She’s a 2013 graduate of Red Bud High School. Her parents are David and Angela Crain.

“I found my spot here,” she said as she sat down at a desk inside the quiet board office at the Belleville campus.

“I came into this just to make friends,” she said of joining the 10-member student board last fall. All had to apply and be interviewed before being selected, said board coordinator Jeff Blue. Lacey was named vice president for the fall semester with Natalie Schweiger as president. Then, they switched roles for spring and still work as a team. They were selected by the board’s staff, Jeff said.

“Lacey’s leadership qualities were recognized right away,” he said. “She is like the rock in the storm that is college activities. Nothing flaps her. She is something special.”

And, whether it’s schoolwork or her social life, “I have to organize everything,” she said.

The board’s role is to plan campus events and to guide and foster student organizations — from the Astronomy Club to the Visual Arts Club — by making sure they have sponsors, enough members (nine is a minimum) and support for their own special events.

For example, Phi Theta Kappa, a national honorary scholastic society on campus, planned a Valentine’s Day weekend event for foster children.

“We’ll help with that,” Lacey said. Each semester, the board organizes a club fair to recruit new members for the more than 40 clubs on the Belleville campus. Plus, there are festivals, entertainment and appearances to help run.

“We had a fall festival and I took that on as my own,” she said. “We did kettle corn, Fredbird, a deejay. That was my thing.”

Lacey’s term ends when she graduates this spring with an associate’s degree in arts and science. In the fall, she will attend Southern Illinois Unversity Edwardsville and study international business and Spanish. She hopes to be an event planner and coordinator.

Is there a downside to being president?

“Running meetings is not my strong suit — and I have to run one every week on Wednesday from 3 to 4 p.m.”

But there are a few perks. Lacey gets a full scholarship for the 2014-2015 school year, as well as being paid for her role.

“Well, let’s see: I get paid for six hours (a week), but I’m here 20 to 25 hours a week,” she said, grinning. “But I don’t mind. I like being busy.”