By Lucy Ruscitto | Staff Writer
The Baylor Chamber of Commerce will begin scouting for new additions to the historic club with interest meetings beginning this week. The first meeting will be held Thursday in the Cowden Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center at 5:30 p.m.
Baylor Chamber has a number of responsibilities and founding. These include: as the creation of the Bear Pit at home basketball games, the establishing of “Yell Leaders” for home and away football, basketball and volleyball games and the Green and Gold Fountain which now resides in Fountain Mall and authenticated the fight song, “Bear Down You Bears of Old Baylor U.”
While many of the traditions Chamber has started have continued into present times, more recent ones additionally have manifested. Pampa junior Brayden Dyson, Chamber Recruitment Chair, said that these include overseeing the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat, supervising the Baylor Line and events like Diadeloso, Baylor Kickoff Weekend and Family Weekend.
Dyson said that Chamber has about 35 to 45 members each year.
“Putting on events like this, we have to know each other well. We have to all be willing to work as a team together, so communication has to be good,” Dyson said.
Within Chamber there are committees such as the Bear Program, Baylor Line, Homecoming and more. Once an applicant is accepted into Chamber, the head of each committee can choose to open up that committee, and new members can interview to be a part of that subset of Chamber.
Dyson said that each Chamber member can choose how involved or not they are based on their personal agendas.
“On event days, everybody’s expected to help out. But for the planning, if you’re not interested in Dia for example, but you’re interested in Homecoming, you can choose to be on that committee,” Dyson said.
He said that despite the choice of level of participation, Chamber is still definitely a time commitment.
“We have a general meeting every Monday night. Depending on what committees you are, those usually either meet weekly or every other week,” Dyson said.
Chamber members typically take lighter class schedules in the fall and have a more demanding spring semester, due to football season and the busier calendar, Dyson said.
At the interest meetings this week, students in attendance can expect an overview of what Chamber does, why the members love being involved and recruitment tips for the following weeks.
“My favorite part [of Chamber] is getting to serve in a big way with a bunch of people that I truly love. It’s a really great feeling accomplishment,” Dyson said.
After the interest meetings, formal Chamber Recruitment begins, consisting of different mixers and events to make the potential new members feel comfortable talking to Chamber members.
“It’s not stressful at all,” Dyson said. “We’re just trying to get a feel for how each potential new member interacts with others and just kind of their background and why they want to join. It’s basically just a bunch of conversations, and then we have interviews.”
Dyson said that new members can choose what committees they want to engage in after the finalist interviews and acceptance into chamber.
Yorba Linda, Calif., freshman Hailey-Jean Tustison was impressed by all of what she saw Chamber accomplish throughout her first semester and is interested in joining the organization.
“I thought that planning, organizing and getting back into that scene would be really cool,” Tustison said. “I don’t mind being in charge. I like being the leader and putting things together.”
If Dyson had to give a piece of advice to potential new members like Tustison, it would be to get to know as many people as possible at each meeting and event, despite possibly not knowing anyone initially.
“It’s a little awkward for everybody, so don’t be afraid to just be yourself,” Dyson said.
Baylor Chamber was originally known as the Baylor Business Men’s Club in 1919, due to the lack of businesses classes offered at the university. When creating, the driving purpose behind the club was to create unity, which was something the men believed was absent at Baylor’s campus.
The business organization changed its title in 1920 to “Baylor University Chamber of Commerce,” and the Baylor Lariat said the newly named club was “the most promising organization on campus,” according to Baylor Chamber’s website.
For more information on upcoming Chamber interest meetings and Recruitment dates, students can check their website.