Around 200 students from area high school visited the jungle last Friday to learn leadership and organizational skills. Members of the Student Government Association (SGA) hosted the PSU Student Leadership Conference along with members of the Gorilla Activities Board (GAB).
All sessions were held in the Overman Student Center, and the event lasted from 8:45 a.m. until 1:45 p.m., with a lunch break. Students attended panels, discussions, and sessions to learn not only about leadership skills but also about how student government performs on a college level.
“I think being able to show what GAB does and what SGA does to people who don’t go to school here yet is really cool because it’s kind of like a self-promotion for Pitt,” said Rachel Lubowicz, junior in accounting. “Like ‘hey, you get to enjoy these things!’”
The conference included different sessions over various topics, such as leadership styles, event planning, and meeting guidelines.
“My favorite part was getting to answer people’s questions,” said Lubowicz. “Having them ask real questions instead of just making things up was nice.”
The Pittsburg State University Student Government Association didn’t work alone to create the conference; they also had the help of the Gorillas Activities Board to teach different skills.
“SGA had asked GAB to put on an event planning workshop,” said Lubowicz, a member of the Gorillas Activities Board. “We basically made a workshop for (the students) to plan one of our existing events, and to think about what questions we ask when we put on events, so they know to ask those questions when they put on events.”
All students in attendance were members of their own high school student government groups, so the information given at the conference allowed them to take knowledge back to their own organization.
“I think it really helps to let high school students see what it’s like to be involved on a college campus,” said Lexi Houser, a sophomore in graphic communications. “There are things similar to what they’re doing in high school, just on a broader, more campus-wide scale.”
Students came from Joplin High School, Webb City High School, Carl Junction High School, Galena High School, Riverton High School, Southeast High School at Cherokee, Kansas, and Pittsburg High School for the conference.
“In our workshop that I helped with, the kids had to design an invention,” said Houser, who helped with the leadership skills session. “Getting to see all the different creative things that these kids came up with when they were told they didn’t have the limits of reality or physics or anything; just seeing what they came up with and within their groups deciding how they should lead.”
The Student Government Association’s community affairs director began preparing for this day-long conference last semester.
“(The conference) gives them an opportunity to see how, in college, you basically run things from the beginning,” said Lubowicz. “…from contacting agents all the way to the end, for an event, you do everything. It’s nice to show them the independent part to show them that they can do it.”