GCC Hosts ConnSCU Student Government Leadership Summit

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Communicate without a mobile device? According to Tracy Knofla, a nationally known leadership trainer, it’s not only possible, it’s essential to building camaraderie. Knofla shared this advice at a January 4 Leadership Summit held at Gateway Community College (GCC). About 40 students from the state’s 12 community colleges were in attendance, as were student activities directors and other college officials.

The leadership summit was coordinated by the ConnSCU Activities Directors Council as a way to enhance communication and collaboration between campuses throughout the state, something that is "very important", according to GCC Dean of Students Wilson Luna.

“Mentorship begins that way,” he said. “Student leaders can work collectively toward solutions to issues that matter to them.”

As part of the summit, students focused on group dynamics, civility and compassion in leadership and the importance of leaving records and a history for incoming student leaders. Knofla, who is adamant that leadership training is serious business that does not have to be serious, kept the discussion lively by injecting her sense of humor (her motto, after all, is “If it’s not fun, I’m not doing it!”).

Knofla asked students to share high and low points experienced by their student organizations last semester and to collaborate on solutions.

Symphany Joseph, president of the GCC SGA, and Kyle Rogers, GCC’s SGA vice president, pointed to the grand opening of GCC’s new campus and attendance at the national leadership conference as highlights of the school year. While they couldn’t name any low points, they did agree that “meeting other student leaders gives us new ideas for SGA next semester.”

That exchange of ideas and sense of engagement is exactly what officials hoped students would take away from the summit.

“This is the best way for our student leaders to build rapport, having fun while they are learning,” said Linda Bayusik, director of Student Activities at Housatonic Community College.