There are two types of education. … One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live.
– John Adams
Volume 73 | Issue 5
September 2005

Pro-File: Julie Fleming, Montclair State University

Q. What do your job responsibilities entail?

A. Design, coordinate, and supervise late night and weekend events; advise Class One Concerts, the College Life Union Board, and the Student Government Association executive secretary; assist in planning, producing, marketing, and evaluating of student organization programs.

Q. What would your staff, colleagues, or students say about you?

A. They would say that I am fun to be around, not afraid of work, very creative and inventive, thorough, a team player, honest, straight forward, a task master, and always willing to learn. Also, that I am the Energizer Bunny—I keep going … and going … and going.

Q. What’s one innovation or project of which you’re proud to have helped implement?

A. It’s a borrowed idea, really. After attending the ACUI annual conference in Washington, D.C., I brought an idea from the University of Utah to my campus. At the beginning of the fall 2004 semester, I implemented a weekend program called Red Hawk Nites—a night where there is a different event in every room of our Student Center. Anywhere from 16 to 20 events are going on simultaneously and range from arts and crafts to massages to inflatables to airbrushed T-shirts. Student organizations and other departments on campus have bought in to the program by sponsoring a ‘Red Hawk Room.’ The success of this event has been tremendous. What started as twice a semester will now be once a month, and we’ve even designed an adapted version of it for our New Student Orientation.

Q. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned while working in the profession?

A. Flexibility is everything. As prepared as you can be, things often happen that you could have had no way of controlling. While you may not be able to know or fix everything, it is crucial that you know where you can go to find the answers you’re looking for. Expect the unexpected.

As a new professional, I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn! I’ve learned to take an opportunity—like being the 2005 Region 3 conference chair and being assistant director of College Leadership New Jersey—and make the most of it. Some things may never come your way again, so learn what you can while you have the chance.

Q. What is one phrase to live by or bit of advice you might have for future generations of union professionals?

A. In the words of Jimmy Buffett, “If we weren’t all crazy, we would go insane!” Like any other, this profession has its ups and downs—roll with it and see where it takes you. You never know when an opportunity for growth will present itself. I have gotten the most valuable lessons in the field in the most unexpected places. Know that sometimes you have to say no in order for you to be successful. Seek balance in your life and know your limits—you are one person! Above all, remember that students are the reason we are here!

Q. Is there anything else you would like ACUI members to know about you?

A. I graduated with a bachelor’s in commercial recreation and tourism, and I am halfway through my master’s program in counseling with a concentration in higher education. I recently started making chocolates and various party favors. (At any given point, my kitchen might be covered in chocolate!) Through word of mouth, I’m starting to develop a little business of my own doing, something I never would have imagined I could do—a surprising opportunity!

Name: Julie Fleming
Title: Evening and Weekend
Program Coordinator
Union: Montclair State University Student Center
Institution: Montclair State University
Years in the profession: 3