Students who one day may become this country?s most powerful leaders, gathered in Sykes Student Union on Friday to hone their leadership skills: qualities that could help them land a job and advance to the highest position.Sponsored by organizations like the Student Government Association and The Office of Greek Life and Student Organizations, the 19th Annual Student Leadership Experience hosted over 100 students who attended several breakout sessions geared towards topics ranging from feminism and leadership to effective time management.
“I enjoyed the Women?s Leadership track sessions,” said Lauren Saul, a junior and Student Director at Sykes. “It was great to see strong women leaders who have clearly made a mark and could share their insights. That was inspiring.”
Tyler Bradway, also a junior, said he enjoyed hearing the panelist?s perspectives and seeing “prominent women leaders on campus who gave us insight about things we can do and [should] address as leaders.”
Bradway mentioned that a breakout session on memory was especially helpful. “It [specified] how to retain information when studying, how to calm your stress level for tests, and how to find the best way to study for yourself. It was very applicable to me,” he said.
Both Saul and Bradway said Keynote speaker Ric Winston, a Communication professor at the University of Maryland, wasn?t what they had expected. “He was ineffective,” said Bradway. “I wish he would have had a more clear point and message.” Winston, who graduated from West Chester in 2000 with a Bachelor?s degree in Communication, spoke about the importance of vocal tone and ways for students to let their voices be heard. Lauren Bissinger, News Editor for The Quad and a presenter/attendee of the Leadership Experience said Winston himself was “engaging, but his presentation didn?t have an overall theme or point.”
Each student who attended the Experience received a folder containing information on leadership characteristics, hints on motivating people, and the basic needs of people in groups.
“I think it was helpful to include this information in the packets,” said Bissinger. “These are things that everyone should know and will be able to use in some way in the future, whether they are the leaders or the followers.