ASMSU allocates $25k to event addressing the stigmas of failure

MSU students soon will have the opportunity to witness an educational event aiming to erase the stigma associated with failure.

ASMSU, MSU’s undergraduate student government, has allocated $25,000 from its Special Projects fund to host Failure:Lab, a storytelling event that allows spectators to listen in on strangers’ stories of failure.

The student government hopes to be able to recover their investment in this event through ticket sales.

Failure:Lab, which previously has performed shows in Grand Rapids and Detroit, invites well-known, successful people to share intimate stories of personal failure in their lives.

The storytellers are not allowed to explain how their failure helped them later achieve their goals, but must instead focus on how failure is a normal component in reaching success.

Jonathan Williams, co-founder of Failure:Lab, has been brainstorming ideas of bringing notable alumni into the event as a way to localize the event to a campus environment.

The event is meant to reduce the fear many people have of taking a risk and falling short, Williams said.

“Failure:Lab is an honest conversation about the struggles behind success,” Williams said. “All the time, we are told we need to try new things. Failure:Lab aims to push back on the stigma and fear of failure and get people to take intelligent risks.”

ASMSU’s Assistant Vice President of Finance and Operations Ryan Wrench first heard about Failure:Lab after it performed in Grand Rapids.

“We wanted to get more educational events to students this year,” Wrench said. “We had thrown around the idea of TED talks, a USA Today CEO forum, and then we ran across Failure:Lab.”

Wrench said Failure:Lab was looking to take its project to a college campus, specifically to MSU.

ASMSU Interim President Michael Mozina said the student government thought the event would be a perfect fit for college students.

“Anybody that is successful has probably failed at something,” Mozina said. “This will ask how we can change the culture around failure, embrace it, and understand it as a normal part of students finding themselves.”

Failure:Lab is set to take place in the Wharton Center’s Cobb Great Hall sometime in April.

An exact date has yet to be announced.

Editor’s note: This article has been changed to reflect the correct month in which Failure:Lab is set to take place.

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