By Laura Shrake| @KyKernel
Last year, 600 applications were received for leaders at the introductory university event known as K Week.
This year, the leadership team known as the K Crew is looking to increase its size even more.
“Last year we had over 622 applicants for K Crew (positions),” 2013-14 K Week Co-coordinator Joshua Jennings said. “But with the increasing size of the freshman class to its largest in history, we’re hoping for about 700 applicants.”
The roughly 350 K Crew leaders who were accepted last year are a crucial element in running K Week.
Each leader is responsible for about 12 freshmen.
“The K Crew leaders are the best student leaders available,” Jennings said. “They have to know UK and love it.”
Jennings, an international Studies and Spanish junior, said an ideal K Crew leader has a passion for the university in some way and is informed, reliable, committed, motivated and approachable above all else.
“We are very eager to see all walks of people step up to lead a group of students,” Jennings said. “We’re all a part of UK.”
Jennings said the leaders function as mentors to the incoming freshman, transfer and international students.
“(The K Crew Leaders) are there to help the new students feel comfortable,” Jennings said. “They are responsible for checking in with their students as much as possible and helping them with anything they need.”
The application for K Crew leaders will be available Friday and close Feb. 15.
To apply for a position, an applicant must have a GPA of at least 2.25. The interview process in done in three parts, Jennings said.
The first part is a one-on-one interview. A second part simulates the types of questions and scenarios a K Crew leader is likely to experience with his or her K Crew.
And the third part is a group activity to see how the applicant interacts with the other leaders.
“We’re looking for people with a fun personality,” Super Crew leader Tressa Lunsford said. “(We want someone) who’s not afraid to be a little bit silly and who is dedicated and wants to make a difference.”
A Super Crew leader is like the “management level between the K Crew leaders and the coordinators,” Lunsford said.
“We are responsible for about 12 to 20 K Crew leaders and making sure they have everything they need,” Lunsford said. “We do a lot of behind-the-scenes work (during K Week).”
Lunsford said freshmen have given K Week and their K Crew leaders positive feedback, expressing their comfort in having “someone to make them feel welcome on campus.”
K Crew leaders themselves also have said they “loved the leadership experience they received” from being a K Crew leader, Lunsford said.
“I liked helping new students learn about UK and getting them excited for school,” sophomore K Crew leader Lauren Ishmael said. “It was fun to help them establish new friendships on campus.”
Ishmael also said being a K Crew leader helped with her leadership skills.
“You have to be responsible for contacting everyone and keeping in touch,” she said. “It helps a lot with organizational skills and being on top of things.”
K Week 2013 is already in the works for next fall, with returning events such as K Week Kickoff and Big Blue U. Individual K Crews will get to know each other with lunch and dinner events.
“We want as many great leaders as we can possibly get,” Lunsford said. “The more leaders we have, the smaller and more personal the groups will be.”
To keep the ever-increasing size of the freshman class organized, K Week requires large numbers of students in management positions as well, like Super Crew leaders such as Lunsford.
Jennings said interview dates have been set for Feb. 26 and 27. The application can be found at uky.edu/kcrew, or at the application station on the student involvement site, getinvolved.uky.edu.