- Category: Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)
- Published: 16 April 2014
The University makes many events available to students throughout the year. From concerts to charity fundraisers, guest speakers and recreational activities, there is always something going on. Although many of us attend these functions, we usually do not see what goes on behind the scenes. From booking a room to ordering food, everything must be strategically planned to ensure a successful event. It is obvious that there are many steps needed to be taken in order to pull off a successful gathering. Naturally, the process can be tedious and demanding.
The University requires members of campus organizations to attend leadership conferences during the fall and the spring semesters. These conferences consist of a series of workshops that range from topics like "Grades Are Not Enough," "Group Development" and even event planning. These workshops seek to aid students in becoming more prepared to run clubs and organizations.
Megan McGowan, the assistant director of Student Activities and the Student Center said, "The leadership workshops are geared toward successful club operations."
Each club is required to have two different members attend at least three workshops in order to receive full credit for their club. The individuals who attend do not have to be E-board members; this allows responsibility of attendance to be spread throughout the entire organization. If organizations fail to complete the workshops, there are consequences such as loss of privileges and recognition on campus.
The fact that there is a leadership conference is a plus because it shows that the University cares about the success of campus organizations. It also shows that the University wants to give organization members the chance to learn more about taking on leadership roles. By making attendance at the conference a requirement, it is obvious that the University wants strong and responsible leaders in all clubs and organizations.
However, many students do not recognize the importance of the sessions and usually do not take them seriously. This may be due to the fact that individuals are uninterested in the content or feel that the sessions are too long. Most sessions are an hour in length, yet one session in the fall semester lasted three hours.
No matter what the reason is for attendees disengaging, this is unfortunate because many leaders feel left in the dark after sessions are complete.
One editor said, "I like the fact that the leadership conferences are held. However, I wish they were split up into different sessions based on sizes of clubs or how long a club has been active on campus. Organizations are in different stages of development. This means that one club may need different information than another. It is overwhelming to go into a session with hundreds of other people from different clubs because usually questions are left unanswered."
If you are serving as a member in a club for your whole college career, you probably do not want to attend the same workshops each year. Yet, McGowan notes that sessions are not identical each semester. She said, "They are different every year based on evaluations." Topics like lengthy sessions and no time for eating come into consideration when modifying the conference.
The Outlook editors offered their own suggestions for making the conferences more successful in the future. They agreed that tailoring sessions to specific groups would be more beneficial. This would allow certain clubs' motives to be targeted directly. One editor said, "Leadership in the different organizations on campus all consist of different roles and responsibilities."
The University works hard in order to ensure organizations have information needed in order to be successful. However, many attendees of the leadership conferences tune out the information. As mentioned before, this may be due to length of the sessions or the topics presented.
It is apparent that the University tries to meet the needs of conference attendees by making changes each semester. By reconsidering what is taught at these leadership conferences and revamping how they are ran, the University can organize a program that will allow campus leaders to be well-informed confident.