Fall Leadership Retreat

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By Giovanna Domingo
Contributing Writer

On Sept. 25, Campus Life administrators and several student leaders went to YMCA campground in Greenkill, New York, for an annual retreat. The main focus was to create better bonds between student clubs and organizations, in addition to looking at Post in the past, present, and future. Many students look forward to this yearly retreat because it brings student leaders together to reflect on their current and
future endeavors.

Photo by Michele Schablin
Photo by Michele Schablin

“It is important to take student leaders away from the campus and engage them in a dialogue about campus life,” said Michael Berthel, director of Campus Life. “We provide an intense, educational, and inspirational program that allows student leaders to have conversations with each other about how they can improve life at LIU Post.”

Several student leaders were excited for different aspects of the retreat. “I’m excited to get representatives from each club and organization in one room together; this is a great opportunity to network and make
some really solid connections,” said Adam Hornbuckle, a sophomore Political Science major and SGA Vice President.

“In addition,” Berthel added. “We challenge students to look at their own organizations, how they promote, and engage the student population.”

On the first day, YMCA camp counselors divided the students into groups and worked on leadership and communication skills through team building exercises and games. This was followed a Safe Zone Training held by the assistant director of Campus life, Joseph Vernace. The training consisted of making it aware to students that different people make up not only our campus community, but society as well.

Additionally, Christopher Whitehead, Programming Specialist, did a Diversity Training. This training session consisted of how to better perceive diversity and to have a more inclusive society.

The Greek organizations and clubs separated into two rooms and set short term and long term goals for each other. Later in the day, all attendants came together and discussed the changes that have occurred on campus in the last year.

“Students were so positive about the changes on campus and the direction of the University,” Berthel said. “It was a really proud moment for our staff and we really enjoyed the conversations we were able to have.”

Campus life and campus leaders ended the night with a bonfire on the campground. “My favorite part of the retreat was the late night hangouts with each other,” said Kelsey D’Andrea, a senior Musical Theatre major, representing the PanHellenic association. “It helped me meet people, and allowed us to be united. There was a round of card games, singing, and lots of laughs, which is why I enjoyed it so much.”

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