The Student Leadership Conference: Represent – Gearing Up for the BLUE and Ulead Student Leadership Conference

The Student Leadership Conference: Represent – Gearing Up for the BLUE and Ulead Student Leadership Conference

The BLUE and Ulead Student Leadership Conference is happening Friday October 2nd at Hart House! This is a one day conference that focuses on building and developing key leadership skills while making connections with likeminded and involved students. The conference program includes a rich variety of workshops designed for all levels of leadership, a keynote speaker, and dinner!

If you are an emerging leader or hold a leadership position and want to develop and enhance your leadership toolkit, then this is the place to be! You can learn more and register for #UofTSLC here: https://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/cld/conferences.

Now you might be asking: what am I going to do at the BLUE and Ulead Student Leadership Conference? More details on the conference schedule will be posted soon! In the meantime, let’s take a look back at the 16th annual Student Leadership Conference: Represent (SLC:R) that occurred last May!

SLC:R provides incoming student representatives with tools and resources to be effective leaders, as well as networking opportunities to collaborate and engage with other student groups. Conference programming includes presentations, workshops, and activities that focus on skill and team building, as well as addressing issues and concerns that are important to student leaders at U of T. Representatives from student unions, college councils, faculty associations, and student societies from all three U of T campuses are invited to participate as well as residence council members and executives from Hart House clubs and committees.

The theme of the conference was: Learn. Collaborate. Engage.

At SLC:R student leaders:

Learn: Established and enhanced their strengths, skills and knowledge.

Collaborate: Gained the skills to work with and across student organizations.

Engage: Understood how to work effectively with their members and the U of T community.

So they can REPRESENT their student organization!

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Day one of the conference focused on team building where students increased their consciousness of self and group by learning about their strengths, as well as outlining goals for their organization.

The day began with a conference kick-off by Mischa Hamara who talked about the importance of vulnerability and the role it plays in building trust in collaboration. A couple students explored the concept by singing in front of the group!

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Next, student groups spent time completing #hellomynameis to outline the goals, visions, and challenges faced by their organization. This allowed student groups to meaningfully think and reflect on what they want to accomplish throughout the year, as well as establish connections with groups that have similar goals.

hellomynameis

This was followed by a session on Cookin’ up Collaboration where students examined the key ingredients for leadership and cooked up recipes for collaboration! We learned that:

  • Leadership is for everyone
  • Leadership is more than a title
  • Leadership can be learned
  • Leadership is about working together
  • Leadership can happened anywhere

Day one concluded with an ice cream social, photobooth, and candy bar! Students used this time to network and build collaborations with student leaders.

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Day two of the conference focused on skill building where students participated in a series of workshops from event planning to conflict resolution to facilitating meetings.

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To unwind and relax after these workshops, we had playtime! Students played Giant Jenga, participated in Laughter Yoga, and took part in arts and crafts.

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This was followed by an Alumni Panel where past leaders from U of T shared their experiences as leaders, as well as the importance of leadership roles in teaching important skills and tools for life post-undergrad.

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To close the conference, Kim Katrin Milan – an artist, educator, and writer – summarized the skills and tools learned at the conference by placing leadership in an equity and diversity context.

kim katrin milan

And, that was a wrap on #UofTSLCR. The next SLC:R will occur in May. Check back here for updates: https://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/cld/conferences.

WRITTEN BY: Teresa Didiano – Leadership Development Intern, Student and Campus Community Development

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