Comedic speaker helps uplift Washburn students

Last week, Sept. 17, students had the opportunity to hear from motivational speaker, Elaine Williams, in the Washburn A & B room of the Memorial Union.

There are several organizations responsible for sponsoring and organizing events. Williams was brought here by the Campus Activities Board. CAB had to set up the event well in advance.

“They first contacted my agent and I said that I would love to come and speak,” said Williams.

Throughout the year, CAB hosts events and games on campus. Sierra Valdivia, junior was the one in charge of contacting Williams’ agent.

“The group last year went to a conference and chose Elaine out of a bunch of different comedians,” said Valdivia.

Like many speakers, Williams wanted to try and change the way students viewed things. She focused on drugs, sex, alcohol and sexual assault. Many speakers use personal stories as a way to connect to their audience. Williams was no different and knew that these topics were serious. However, she also used comedy to keep the audience engaged.

The statement, “think it through,” was seen by many as being the theme of the speech. It was repeated multiple times throughout the evening. Williams provided tips on how to reduce stress and improve focus. She also gave advice about staying safe when attending parties.

“I hope they remember my rules, like always go out in groups and never leave your drink unattended. Even if it is just water,” said Williams.

The majority of the people in the audience were freshmen and peer educators in the WU 101 class. This is because the event qualified as one of many “passport activities” for their class. Students have to attend a certain number of events on campus, take a picture and put them all together in a portfolio at the end of the year.

“The WU 101 class has helped to get more people especially in getting more freshmen involved,” said Valdivia.

As of now, Williams just does live performances but has an idea on how to reach even more people by using technology to her advantage.

“I have some opportunities to be able to pitch my pilot for a web series which I am very interested in doing,” said Williams.

To find out more about Williams and her helpful tips, visit her website or her facebook page at