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Student leadership summit helps students find solutions

by Alyssa Daley - Executive Editor
Tue, Feb 28th 2017 10:00 pm

This past weekend, current and potential student leaders from approximately 20 different organizations on campus came together in Eagle's Lookout for this year's Student Leader Summit. Earlier this month the college hosted the Student Leadership Conference which was a day-long experience for any student leader to expand upon their individual abilities as well as network with similar minded students and professionals. The Student Leader Summit specifically targeted students who either will hold or currently hold a position in a student organization on campus. 

Unlike the conference the summit was only four hours long and consisted of an opening speech, a breakout session which gave attendees the option of going to three different workshops tailored to help point club leaders in the right direction for their organizations. Several group workshops focused on leader succession and goal setting. The opening remarks were given by Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs Karey Pine who focused her speech on the term "balcony leader."

For Pine, a "balcony leader" was one who not only identified problems but were able to devise solutions for those problems using the resources they had accessible to them. She used the metaphor that every house needs a solid foundation but once that foundation is built, the rest of the house can stand strong against all obstacles it may encounter. The balcony metaphor comes once the foundation and the house have been built; Pine said that every home has a place where you can stand and look out at a bigger picture even if it is just a small window and not an extravagant balcony. This, she said, was the end goal of all organization leaders: to be able to have enough confidence in their organization that they can then look at the impact their organization is having on the campus, the local community and perhaps even the state/nation.

Once Pine was finished she handed the reigns off to Assistant Director of Student Union and Activities Ryan Giglia and Graduate Assistant for Student Organizations Shaquille Rivera to guide students to the classrooms where the workshops geared toward three specific areas for organizations: Advertising and Marketing, SWOT Analysis and Engaging with Community and Community Service. 

Each of the workshops were run by The College at Brockport faculty familiar with that specific area of expertise. The goal of the summit gave student leaders the skills they needed to bring back to their respective organizations to help them thrive also and introduce them to people who could be valuable resources. 

Giglia ran the Advertising and Marketing workshop as he is the head of that for all the Student Union events and has worked in areas of that nature outside of the college. This particular workshop gave attendees the ability to understand that when creating their organization's brand it is key to market using why they are doing what they do along with what it is they do in order to entice fellow students to give up their time to be a part of the respective organization. 

Rivera, along with Coordinator of the Student Townhomes Charlie Kuski, ran the SWOT Analysis workshop. Student leaders learned the acronym for SWOT which is: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Participants were then asked to come up with examples of each that pertain to their clubs. This workshop enabled leaders like the Secretary of Club Gymnastics, the President of Circle K and a member of Brockport Animal and Care's (BARC) executive board, amongst others, to develop this technique to bring back to their organizations as a method of solving problems each may be encountering. 

The final option attendees had was a workshop, Engaging with Community and Community Service, which was led by Coordinator of Service and Community Building Nikole Van Wie. This workshop was able to give club leaders the tools and ideas they need to establish connections and collaborations with both the local community and other organizations.

After the breakout session student leaders were given a crash course on what is necessary to develop a sustainable line of succession in an organization and how to use a budget to manage their funds to the best of their ability. After this group workshop Rivera and fellow graduate assistant Joe Serio ran through the method of SMART goal setting for the over 25 student leaders in attendance. Rivera and Serio explained the benefits of creating specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely goals for organizations. Using this method and breaking it up by month, semester and year, attendees were able to come up with some goals for their respective organizations that they plan to implement before the end of this year. 

This was only the beginning of what people like Giglia are planning for potential and current leaders of on-campus organizations. Giglia explained that a conference similar to the Student Leadership Conference is being piloted throughout this semester to create a larger networking opportunity for those students who have become engaged in leadership positions outside of the classroom. The end goal, according to Giglia, is to give emerging leaders the skills they need to not only be successful while here at Brockport but also in their everyday lives and jobs after graduation.


 

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