The Presidents’ Retreat – Gearing Up for the BLUE and Ulead Student Leadership Conference

The Presidents’ Retreat – Gearing Up for the BLUE and Ulead Student Leadership Conference

Next Friday, October 2nd is our yearly Student Leadership Conference, presented in joint collaboration by Ulead and BLUE! It will be an evening conference that begins with a keynote speech, followed by two sessions of 4 workshops. The workshops follow the progression of leadership shown above.

We can’t wait to see you at #UofTSLC! Register here before spots fill up!: https://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/cld/conferences 

And on the topic of conferences, this summer introduced our first ever Presidents’ Retreat – an opportunity for Club Presidents to meet one another, participate in experiential workshops, and connect ideas and values in a collaborative setting. The Retreat followed the structure of Kouzes and Posner’s “The Leadership Challenge” via the following stages: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart. We had a really exciting day and it was so wonderful getting to meet presidents and hang out in a social and conductive environment!

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Mischa Hamara began the day with an inspiring welcome and introduction, before everyone split into two workshops: Self-Care with Ayana Webb and Vision & Values with Kristina Minnella. Kristina’s workshop included a collage session, where everyone cut out images from stacks of magazines, pasted them into a single frame, and presented them to the group.

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After chowing down on some tasty wraps and sandwiches for lunch (coupled with hot soup and infinite pastries!), we did a ten minute energizer…

Following this was our Conflict Transformation workshop with Jennifer Galley and Encouraging the Leadership of Others with Mischa. I popped into Jennifer’s workshop in the middle of a discussion on conflict resolution ideas, and the relaxed atmosphere really seemed to create a comfortable place for students to speak about the potential of group issues. In Mischa’s workshop, he had everyone sit in a half-circle and asked them to sing their favorite song, one after another. For the students who didn’t want to sing, he sat down with them and initiated an intimate conversation about many things – where they grew up, when they moved to Toronto, their university experience, and so on. Everyone in their room was giving their undivided attention, and for these moments there was a genuine connection among students.

We wrapped up the day with a Get Crafty! lip-balm making session with Hart House’s very own Day Milman. She engaged everyone and showed us all how to mix essential oils and decorate our new handmade lip-balms.

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Jennifer closed the evening with a short reflection, asking students to come up to various flip charts and place post-it notes of their thoughts in different categories.

WRITTEN BY: Melina Sabeti-Mehr – Campus Organization Intern, Student and Campus Community Development

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