Leadership not a trivial pursuit

Members of student organizations gathered at an on-campus leadership conference to network and learn from each other’s unique perspectives.

Sponsored by SVSU’s Residence Housing Association, the first Cardinal Leadership Conference was held Friday, Nov. 21. Eighty-eight students from 23 different organizations were in attendance.

The Valley Vanguard

Vanguard photo | Tyler Bradley

The conference hosted 88 attendees from 23 different on-campus student organizations. Above, students participate in a roll call game during one of the afternoon’s interactive programming sessions.

Jaimmie Koss, a fourth-year social work student, helped organize the conference.

“The conference as a whole encourages people to break out of their comfort zones while growing as leaders and learning new and unique forms of leadership,” Koss said.

Students attended three programming sessions and were able to choose between four to five presentations per session.

Koss and Haylie Chamarro, a fourth year elementary education student, presented “Kindergarten Stress Relief.”

During their program, they discussed how to manage stress associated with upcoming final exams. Chamarro said she and Koss chose the topic because November is stressful: students have a lot to finish, but their motivation often wanes.

“We wanted the leaders in attendance to have 40 minutes where they could just relax and enjoy themselves,” Chamarro said.

Other students presented a variety of topics, such as making and maintaining friends, writing an effective resume, using icebreakers to build teamwork in organizations and increasing self-esteem.

“The conference is great for everyone at SVSU as it can pertain to everyone on a different level,” Koss said. “The programs ranged from breaking out of your shell and starting to become a leader, all the way through maintaining leadership, ending positions and time management.  It’s important for everyone to get involved with because everyone can benefit from it.”

Tonya Kendra’s presentation “Breaking Stigma: Disney Style” presentation made an impact on Koss.

“It was a unique program because it took a look at mental health stigma and viewed it through the lens of several different Disney characters and movies,” Koss said.

Chamarro appreciated the opportunity to meet other campus leaders.

“Our student body is divided by what we’re involved in and rarely do we mix,” Chamarro said.

Executive Vice President of the Residence Housing Association Rebecca Tomasek served as chair for the conference.

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