Student Leadership Retreat: Where Leaders Begin

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A triumphant occasion took place on Friday, September 28th, marking the Student Leadership retreat of the Fall semester of 2018. After a brief check-in with Patrick Williams (Westshore AmeriCorps) student leaders were greeted with a warm welcome by Jennifer Davis (Student Life and Athletics Director) of Metropolitan Campus. Followed by most intense Rock- Paper-Scissors icebreaker ever taken place, where students would introduce themselves via name and position while proceeding to gain as many wins as possible and gain a following.

When the smoke from that activity cleared it was time for a leadership activity that required student leaders to ponder and spawn ideas based o questions such as: “What qualities are needed in a effective student leader?” or “How could students leaders from different clubs collaborate with one another to achieve specific goals?” What made this particular activity interesting was that the student leaders were required to build upon ideas created from previous groups in attempts to find similarity of interests. Ultimately, it seemed as though the student leaders found a middle ground in the concepts of Awareness, Communication, and Conjugation.

During lunch Amanda Fronek (Director of student engagement) from Westshore Introduced the speakers for the beginning afternoon hour. Starting with Katie Montgomery (Director of Government Relations) gave a talk to the student leaders about the importance of voting and how it’s a civic duty. Followed by a Truly enlightening testimony about Senator Claiborne Pell and his advocacy for change given by the Metropolitan Campus Student Government President Mohamed Ag Almahamoud, and an empowering video on leadership from Dr. Karen Miller The Executive Vice President of Cuyahoga Community College.

After a short break followed by a introduction from Mark Rodriguez, the student leaders took turns giving testimonies about specific issues that were present across all campuses along with possible solutions for them all. To then finally end out the day with a masterfully composed activity given by Zyanya Torres on cultural awareness & identity. This activity required the student leaders to craft a web diagram out of things that made up their identity and some of them shared afterwards. And I can speak on behalf of everyone there that we all admired Ms.Torres’s testimony about herself which proved that as a student leader it’s not only important to accept other people for who they are but to be vulnerable yourself as a student leader.

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