Loyola University New Orleans Department of Residential Life is a featured program.
While attending their first national conference, the National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference hosted at Santa Clara University in July of 2013, the Residence Hall Association decided that they wanted to take action with what they were learning. The mighty team of two spent four days paying close attention to the presentations, keynote speakers, round table discussions, and casual conversation with peers to glean as much information as possible. Sitting in the airport on the way home, the two students and their advisor sat down for a brainstorm and determined that students all around the country – and on the Loyola University New Orleans campus specifically – were craving opportunities to share their story. After much discussion and several ideas were scrapped, the team stumbled on the idea of “Iggy Talks” and proceeded to spend the remainder of their travel, and the several months following, planning the first event.
Iggy Talks is based after Ted Talks, the global conference that brings together brilliant minds to discuss world issues, ideas and discoveries. It is an opportunity for students to begin talking to students about issues and experiences larger than ourselves, experiences meant to uplift us and motivate us.
Hosted by the Residence Hall Association and held once a month on the 12th floor lounge area of Buddig residence hall, Iggy Talks hopes to educate students and, if anything, change their perspective on the world one speaker at a time. Loyola students with similar stories come together to give their perspective on the world in a way that is unique to the students themselves.
Over the course of the last year and a half of the program, the project has grown immensely which has led to the development of an elected Iggy Talks Coordinator position. The Iggy Talks Coordinator assists with the scheduling of the events, promoting upcoming talks, meeting students who could be potential speakers, assisting students with the application process, helping to prepare the selected speakers for their big moment, and facilitating the presentations and post-talk discussions.
The program has also grown to include an application to speak. The Iggy Talks application was developed to assist the Iggy Talks Coordinator and allows students who we might not have met, but who are interested in sharing their experience, to request to be speakers at one of the events. Additionally, the application allows the Iggy Talks Coordinator (along with the rest of the Executive Board) to push speakers to think critically about their talks before giving them.
Iggy Talkers are asked to:
- Provide one link to a Ted Talk or other video related to your Talk in their application which can be shared on social media prior to the talk.
- Provide one link to a news or research article or other source providing supporting information for your talk in their application which can be shared on social media prior to the talk…
- Compose an Iggy Talk that delivers a core “take-away” for audience members.
- Meet with the Iggy Talks Director 2 weeks before their talk to discuss the concept of the talk.
- Meet with the RHA E-Board to deliver their talk in order to gain constructive feedback and insight 1 week before their talk.
- Appear at a publicity event in the Danna Center to promote their talk 1 week before their talk.
- Give their Iggy Talk on their scheduled night!
- Participate in an open question and answer session after their Iggy Talk
The Iggy Talks have ranged in topics and included discussion about constantly striving to make progress through the use of reflection and goal setting, coming out to loved ones despite it being culturally unaccepted, traveling abroad for service, traveling abroad for personal exploration, figuring out who you are as a third-culture kid, learning to love yourself with mental illness, and much more.
The Iggy Talks has been recognized as an outstanding campus program and the students are hoping to continue to develop this as a tradition for many years to come.
Submitted by Chris Rice, Associate Director of Residential Life, Loyola University New Orleans