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Lady Spirithunters President Callie Schlabach Shares Her Experience Leading the Organization

Nothing says Florida State University (FSU) like chopping along to the war chant with a pair of war stripes on your face. If you’ve ever seen a group of women in khaki shorts and garnet and gold vests painting war stripes on people at an FSU sporting event, you know who the Lady Spirithunters (LSH) are. LSH was founded in 1979, and they’ve been spreading the Seminole spirit ever since.

I got the chance to interview Callie Schlabach, the president of this organization, about her experience as a Lady Spirithunter and a member of the executive board for the last year and a half. 

Her Campus (HC): What is Lady Spirithunters?

Callie Schlabach (CS): Lady Spirithunters is a spirit-based organization at Florida State that is best known for painting war stripes at every home varsity athletics game in our garnet and gold vests. Besides our involvement with athletics, we are really big on service. We have monthly volunteering opportunities and participate in Dance Marathon and Relay for Life, as well as supporting our philanthropy Camp Kesem at FSU. We also encourage our members to bond with one another and put on several social events and have Bigs and Littles.

HC: What is your favorite LSH event?

CS: My favorite LSH event is definitely Hayride! Every year, we dress up in flannels and boots and head out to a farm for a hayride and some good Southern comfort food. It’s also the first social event that new members can attend, and it’s so fun to meet them all.

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HC: Why did you decide to join the organization?

CS: Before attending Florida State, I was part of a very tight-knit community back home, and I really felt like I was missing that my freshman year. I joined Lady Spirithunters in hopes of finding a solid community, and this organization has far exceeded my expectations. I’m continuously surrounded by women who encourage and uplift me, and I can honestly say LSH has made FSU my home away from home.

HC: What made you want to join the executive board?

CS: I joined the executive board in 2020 as the Outreach Coordinator. In that role, my main responsibility was to connect LSH to the community through volunteering and participation in Dance Marathon and Relay for Life, as well as supporting Camp Kesem at FSU. I am extremely passionate about connecting with and empowering the community, and in this position, I was able to support local Tallahassee and FSU organizations in creating positive, sustainable change. Leaders have a huge responsibility to support the communities they are a part of, and this was the main reason I decided to continue to serve on the executive board as the President.

HC: What are your responsibilities as the President of LSH?

CS: As the President of LSH, I oversee the other members of the executive board, run all of our general body meetings, represent Lady Spirithunters at FSU events and manage LSH as a registered student organization.

HC: What is your favorite part of being President?

CS: I love connecting with people, and I’m able to do that in such a different way as the President. Not only do I get to see members of the executive board and chairs grow and excel as leaders, but I get to watch general members make lifelong friends and blossom during their time in Lady Spirithunters.

HC: How does being President compare to your role former role as Outreach Coordinator?

CS: As the Outreach Coordinator, I was focused on connecting Lady Spirithunters to external organizations. As the President, I still get to do a lot of that, but I also get to help members of the organization connect to one another. I also get to focus a lot more on the inner workings and logistical details of sustaining an organization, which is something that I didn’t think about as much as the Outreach Coordinator.

HC: What changes has the organization gone through during the coronavirus pandemic?

CS: As an organization, we’ve shifted to varying tiers of membership and different kinds of events to accommodate for social distancing and the fact that some of our members are at home this semester. Our ability to be flexible and creative to create the best experience possible has continually amazed me. Additionally, we’ve started to provide resources and host events that encourage mindfulness about mental and physical wellbeing to make sure members are getting the support they need during this time.

HC: What are some hopes you have for the future of LSH?

CS: My hope for the future is that Lady Spirithunters will become an even bigger advocate for empowering communities and individuals, and will remain a place where everyone feels seen, heard and loved. I would love to see the impact we have on the Tallahassee community and the joy we are able to bring to FSU fans grow even more.

HC: What advice would you give to the next Lady Spirithunters President?

CS: Leadership is about service—serving the executive board, serving LSH members and serving the community you’re a part of. Make sure your actions serve them well. The work you and the executive board do is meaningful and makes an impact. Your year in this position is going to shape the future of Lady Spirithunters, and I’m confident that you’ll do an incredible job.

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I'm a senior double majoring in Media/Communication Studies and Editing, Writing, and Media at Florida State University. I love Jesus, traveling, coffee, and music.
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