I have always considered myself a planner. Whether it is planning to complete various assignments to making plans with friends, I like to stay organized. Therefore, when Sarah said that Aaron and I were going to have to plan an event for International Education Week, I was excited. At the same time, however, I found it daunting. Throughout my time at Penn State, I have assisted with the planning of various events and conferences with the clubs I am involved in. However, never before had I been given such open-ended instructions: Aaron and I could plan the event in whatever format and on whatever (global and timely) topic we wanted! While this was a little daunting, I knew that we would be able to put together a great event, and knew that Sarah, Mary, and Emily would be there to help us.
The fact that Aaron and I are both in the same History of Fascism and Nazism class made the topic selection easier, as we soon realized that we should involve our professor, Dr. Guettel. Thus, most of the planning went smoothly, and the next time I have to plan something similar, I do not think that I will feel so intimidated. However, one of the biggest lessons that I learned was that you cannot expect people to respond as quickly as you would like them to. Even though Aaron the reaching out to other potential panelists, it was still very frustrating to hear that people were not communicative or responsive in a timely manner. It made the process of finding speakers incredibly difficult. I think that this was definitely the biggest obstacle we had to overcome in the planning stages. However, the frustration paid off, and the panelists that we did have speak were all very informed, well spoken, and easy to work with.
Overall, when it came to the night of the event, I think that it went really well! I believe that the three speakers—Dr. Guettel, Mr. Reuning, and Mr. Morabito, all of whom spoke on different aspects of Fascism—gave the evening a unique edge. By including the history of fascism, as well as fascist and alt. right movements from an international politics and United States politics perspective, it was an engaging talk for individuals of all disciplines and interests. Additionally, not only was the content informative, the event was also well attended. The audience was engaged and participated in the discussion that followed the presentations. Therefore, I definitely believe that all of the hard work and planning for this event paid off.