The idea of connecting the community and the gap between on-sight and off-sight members has always been there. It's been a challenge that has been passed on from class to class. Three years ago, when I started working on The Chameleon, I didn't know what to do nor why. The Editor-In-Chief at the time, Ella, took me in as her Assistant Editor and showed me her passion for the project, for connection, to showcase and celebrate. Two years later, I decided to make it my mastery and finally start closing that gap by creating a sustainable design cycle to continue through the years. It was only thanks to an incredible team (Malak, Lexie, Guille, and Viktoria) that we managed to do so. I wholeheartedly believe it will be possible.
I'm proud of a few things in this project, and the process, the guide itself, the website, but the team has taken my breath away. The team we have built, how much we've grown and become friends through this project. I'm proud to have shared my passion for community and connection with others that will carry it on in years to come.
Passion drives the world, and I've been able to pass on some of mine to a team of individuals who have helped me build the project, legacy, and collection of memories that The Chameleon has become. I trust each of these individuals to bring good and joy to the community. To carry on what today we call our "baby project," which is growing into something incredible and of lots of value to our community.
When we started, we all had to work on team building, communication, honesty, and trust, among other things. Things took longer than we expected, and challenges surrounded us.
I've learned so much from every experience we had; like how to build a website, write useful emails, communicate properly, and fully listen to understand and not respond. It allowed me to grow into a better version of myself.
You all taught me how to have harder conversations, be assertive, and hold people accountable, how to trust the team, and how to reflect as a group. In the end, we did this together. I learned about my peers and teammates, how to solve the conflict, how to manage a team, how to try, fail, and get back up.
Through this year, we brought an idea back to life. The Chameleon connects the community, encourages people to submit things to be brave and vulnerable while taking a silly approach or an academic one. It represents TGS by showing how we are all-inclusive and how we genuinely build upon one another and celebrate our success and achievements. I am so proud to have guided and developed the website, the guide for others, the team, and the "Chameleon spirit".
Reflecting on everything we've done, I reached out to Ella, the first Editor-In-Chief of The Chameleon and have asked her to write a short something about how this all started and a note for the team:
"The first meeting I ever set up for the newsletter was in the common room, in Hiroshima. I had no idea if this was going to work, if we had enough interest in the student body, or even what to name the project (like most personal projects at TGS start). I just knew I had a passion and a vision. Looking at what it has become today, I am so grateful to have been a part of the journey. What I learned most from the experience was how to let a passion lead you in the project, and not to get stuck in what your initial idea was.
How a platform like this one can mean for a community → especially during COVID-19
Thanks to Chelle and Lee, and all my fellow chameleons, (past, present, and future)"
Ella Editor-In-Chief 2018-2019
I am very grateful for all that you've shown me. Each of you taught me something new and for trying random tools and strategies to build the team. When I doubted the project or our progress, you reminded me of why we are doing it. You inspired me to try my best because it's not always going to be easy, but you've made it worth it. I'm proud of each and every one of you, and I believe in the project and in you. We made our own tiny community by trying to connect the wider one, and you will always count on me. I couldn't have asked for a better nor more supportive team.
Lots of chameleon hugs
Stay safe and calm