Club Leader Conferences, which are run by Student Activities, have become a common occurrence over the past year. Although these conferences serve as a great way to standardize leadership and official practices, having them more than once a semester for hours on end causes them to be a waste of time.
The conferences are branded as a guide to leadership and an introduction to tools that clubs need to run effectively. This includes: how to use The Path, book events, order food, contact important resources and create a community with a common goal and lasting unity. All of this is essential and helpful to club leaders. It provides new leaders with a framework on what constitutes effective leadership while simultaneously updating all club leaders on important information.
Despite being integral to club leadership, these conferences have turned into a dreaded occurrence. Four sessions a year leads to continual repetition of the same information, especially for returning leaders. It is a waste of time to hear the same information over and over again.
Not only are these conferences repetitive, but they are unnecessarily long. Six hours of training in one sitting, regardless of how important or useful it may be, leads to a monotonous experience without any lasting impact. Not to mention there is a lot of sitting at these events, leading to a lack of engagement and activity.
If Student Activities wants Club Leader Conferences to have a lasting positive impact on club leaders, the format and length of the conferences need to change. One conference per semester would suffice and make for a worthwhile five hours. Club leaders are busy; they do not want to spend their weekends worrying about a repetitive event when they could be working on club-related projects or taking a much-needed break.
Additionally, these conferences should be more engaging and inspirational. Inviting motivational speakers or integrating games that illustrate effective leadership would be an improvement. This will help important information and procedures, like using Mazevo or hosting events, stick in the brains of club leaders.
The goal of the conferences should be to make people excited about being leaders. However, the current format of conferences creates an environment in which students no longer want the position. Students would rather quit being a leader than continue to attend conferences. However, not attending the conferences causes leaders to lack the resources they need for updates in Student Activity procedures.
One five-hour conference a semester with speakers, interactive activities, helpful resources and a place to voice concerns is what club leaders want, not the current model that is used.