Colgate Students Learn To Lead The Way

Alexis Apfelbaum

In botany, a leader is the primary shoot and is usually the tallest. On a climbing expedition, the leader is the person who ascends first in the most dangerous terrain and sets up the ropes and protections through which the rest of the climbing party traverses. In music, the leader directs the ensemble or orchestra, keeping the meter – the intrinsic value of the piece. In the stock market, a leader is the stock that is the first to move in a market upsurge or downturn. A leader makes decisions, makes plans, makes changes. Colgate is lucky to have an astounding number of student leaders among its ranks, so it’s little surprise that the administration decided to have a day to both celebrate and encourage these leaders.On Sunday, August 22 the second annual Student Leadership Training Workshop took place. The 170 students invited to attend held leadership roles in many different areas of the Colgate community. All Links were obligated to attend, but they were joined by student representatives from the Center for Leadership, Outreach, Volunteerism and Education (COVE), Information Technology Services (ITS), the Colgate Activities Board (CAB), the Student Government Association (SGA), Students for Social Justice (SSJ), Class Councils, Democracy Matters, Career Services, the Peace Studies office, leaders from the Greek system, sports teams, singing groups, Outreach, Campus Education, WRCU, the Residential Education staff, The Maroon-News, Admissions tour-guides, the theater community, Rainbow Alliance, Sisters of the Round Table (SORT), the Women’s Studies Center, the Writing Center, the Spring Party Weekend Committee, the Colgate Public Relations Office, the Judicial Board and Bacchus.The day began with speeches by Vice President and Dean of the College Adam Weinberg and President of the University Rebecca Chopp in the Love Auditorium. These speeches were followed by three workshops. The attendees were given options as to which workshops they wished to attend. Junior Michael Butler, a member of the Residential Education Staff, was happy to have chosen a workshop called “Getting Stuff Done,” led by Director of Student Technologies Judy Doherty. This workshop posed the question “Why is it that everyone else seems to get nothing done, and you (a very small number of people) do it all?” Butler said that he learned a number of things that could prove important in everyday life. His advice, after taking the class: “You can get a lot of stuff done in a short time if you stay focused and organized.” The Colgate University Student Leadership Training workshop held its first meeting last year. Assistant Director of the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement Catherine Regan, coordinator of the leadership workshop, was very pleased at the program’s rapid growth from one year to the next. Last year, only 120-130 students attended the workshop, which consisted of one afternoon in which everyone was required to take the same classes.Despite the improvements, however, some students who had previously attended leadership conferences found little that was new and exciting – though they did find that this conference reinforced what they had learned in the past. Even Butler admitted he felt invigorated by only some of this year’s activities, and senior Dominique Hill, a member of a variety of Colgate organizations including SORT, Kuumba and the Link staff noted that she was “a bit bothered by the fact that none of these workshops attempted to address how to include multiculturalism in your organization,” which she believes is important “even if the members are a homogeneous group.” Hill could not help feeling a little disappointed by what she considered an “otherwise nice experience.”As the years progress, students can hope to see more of these issues, such as diversity and multiculturalism addressed at future seminars. Faculty and Administration seem more than willing to help students “get things done,” and students can use the skills gained at these leadership conferences to move their ideas forward. It is the Colgate leaders of today that will bring these innovative matters to the forefront of discussion, and for this, they should be applauded.