Courtesy of Kathy Maloney
Courtesy of Kathy Maloney

‘Just keep leading’

Upcoming student leaders seek to strengthen their roles on campus

April 20, 2016

The 2016 Leadership Education And Programming Conference (LEAP) sent representatives from campus organizations to Hyannis on Friday for the popular two-day program that seeks to expand opportunities for the prominent students on campus.

The Office of Student Leadership and Involvement, in partnership with the Student Government Association, organized the conference, where Suffolk faculty led seminars about leadership techniques, budgeting and how to handle conflict within organizations.

SLI Director Dave DeAngelis said that LEAP is an opportunity for leadership training while being surrounded by the peers this leadership will influence.

“It’s an opportunity to help train new officers so they can be successful in their student organizations,” he said. “It’s training and introductions to other student leaders to collaborate and work together in the next academic year.”

Freshman and current Program Council Committee Chair Abbey Dodge, attending her first LEAP as the incoming treasurer of PC, said that her favorite part was interacting with her fellow student leaders.

“I liked getting to meet a lot of people that I didn’t know were necessarily involved at Suffolk and getting to work with them,” she said.

Students said that the True Colors presentation from motivational speaker Michael Miller, who travels most of the year presenting to college students, was engaging and telling.
SGA Vice President and President-Elect Sean Walsh said that True Colors was “a fun way to learn about yourself and learn about other people and how they work.”

The presentation applied four colors to participants based on preferences: blue, gold, orange or green. Once what Miller called a participant’s “brightest color” is determined, typical behaviors and tendencies are usually predicted.

“Everyone has all four colors in a certain order,” said Walsh, a strict “green” himself. “Especially among an e-board, it’s helpful to know how we work together and deal with each other in certain situations.”

An important element Dodge said she learned from Miller that she plans on taking with her to next year’s PC meetings was how to keep organization members interested in their roles.

“Michael Miller spoke a lot about the importance of keeping everyone in your organization involved and giving them more of a reason to come to meetings,” she said.

Techies Union Co-President Amy DalCanton enjoyed the opportunity to present to other student groups on the work her organization does.

“As far as for the future of my group, I think it’s really helped us become much more focused in what we want to accomplish, as well as spreading the word of what Techies Union can do for them,” she said.

DeAngelis explained that SLI and SGA work together every year to guide the seminars and conference as a whole to address certain issues that the university has recently tackled.

“The big thing is trying to figure out what topics and sessions are relevant to students for that particular year so we can be current for the educational program,” he said. “That’s the big change year to year.”

Arly Macario, who will be stepping up as PC vice president for the 2016-2017 academic year, said she thought that in order to improve the conference in years to come, better student involvement within the seminars would engage the Suffolk community more.

“Students should be more involved and active in the discussion rather than make it a lecture,” she said. “It should be more engaging.”

Ultimately, DeAngelis said, LEAP is an opportunity to train the student leaders of Suffolk to reach their fullest potential.

“I’d hope that they feel that we’ve given them the skills and tools they need to be successful student leaders as they take on leadership roles within campus organizations, that they feel that they’ve broadened their minds and made connections with other student leaders on campus,” he said.

Walsh agreed that LEAP accomplishes just this and said he is excited to take strategies from the conference into his upcoming presidency.

“What’s important is learning about [the SGA e-board’s] leadership styles when we’re in the same sessions, but also going to different sessions to divide and conquer,” he said.

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