UNM Biology Undergraduate Society (BUGS) has been working hard to put together Wolf Fest, an event dedicated to wolf conservation and educating the public about wolves, alongside their cosponsor, UNM Wilderness Alliance.
According to Ryann Carter, one of the BUGS co-presidents, it’s been a challenge planning Wolf Fest.
“I’ve been able to learn how to network with different groups on campus, whether it’s student organizations, the activities office, the Parking and Transportation or Safety and Risk department,” Carter said. “I’ve had to fill out paperwork, I’ve had to get copies of insurance for live animals and pay service fees for things and rent tents, so it’s really taught me a lot of life skills.”
Wolf Fest will have up to 10 tables set up under a tent, each dedicated to different organizations or activities. Carter said that there will be speakers and potential movie screenings, too, which will be held in the SUB.
Carter added that Wolf Fest has been the most useful thing she’s done in college. She’s had a lot of experience, too. This is Carter’s third year planning Wolf Fest.
“My first year of planning Wolf Fest was kind of me tripping over myself just to get it done,” Carter said. “It was mostly me that first year because I wasn’t sure what to let other people help me with.”
Now she has a whole team of people helping her — someone in charge of advertising and design, media relations, paperwork and various other tasks.
“It’s definitely the biggest (event) in terms of time commitment, mostly on my part but also on the part of my officers because as we get closer to the event, I really have to push them,” Carter said.
Sydney Flynn has witnessed the hard work Carter has gone through first-hand. Flynn has been shadowing Carter because she wants to be BUGS’ president next year.
Flynn first encountered Wolf Fest her junior year of high school while looking at UNM as a potential college.
“It’s been really interesting seeing behind the curtain of everything, seeing just how much time and effort, how many emails are sent and how many organizations we talk to,” Flynn said.
“My favorite part (of Wolf Fest) is actually seeing the event come together,” Carter said. “It’s become sort of a project for me every year to try and make it better, since I’ve been able to plan it for three years. It’s challenging to see what sort of new things I can do with it and what I can bring to the table for the officers who are going to take over next year.”
While Carter likes looking into the future, Flynn likes the idea of someday being able to look back.
“My favorite thing about being involved in Wolf Fest is knowing at the end that I’ll be able to say, ‘I was a part of that! I got to help with that!’” Flynn said. “I know that’s not something a lot of people get to say--that they helped plan a wolf event.”
Carter, too, is all about getting good results from hard work.
“The more terrifying and stressful things that you make yourself do in life, the easier it is to do stressful things,” Carter said.
Carter cares a lot about educating the public, so she has worked hard and stressed over planning Wolf Fest.
“Education is kind of powerful in the sense that it makes people care about things,” she said.
As for the future Wolf Fests, Carter hopes they will gain more networks, people and organizations participating.
Wolf Fest will take place on April 7.
Ariel Lutnesky is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Ariellutnesky.