Student leaders engage, bond

Mutinkhe Kaunda

From Sept. 12 to Sept. 14, 2008, the offices of Student Life and Leadership from Maricopa College District and Central Arizona College challenged students from eight community colleges, including 12 students from MCC, mentally and physically.The annual three-day retreat that was held, YMCA’s Camp Sky-Y in Prescott, Ariz. included leadership-themed activities defined by fun and laughter.

On the first day, coordinators eased the students into their activities by giving them the opportunity to question five panelists about their leadership roles.

The panel included Dr. Sylvia Manlove, Gateway’s Vice President of Academic Affairs and interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Maricopa County College District, and David Goodwin, founder and co-owner of the College Times newspaper.

Manlove advised students that the first role of a leader would be to “listen.” Goodwin discussed his initial failure as an entrepreneur and cautioned students that as leaders, they need to be aware of their own limitations and “rely on other people to step in” when necessary.

On the second day, students not only participated in three educational workshops, but also faced the physical challenge of the camp’s high ropes and rock climb, both requiring that a fear of heights be set aside.

Students worked in pairs and listened to instructions as they traversed sections of the courses.

Defeat was far from the mind of Brian Garcia, a 21-year-old MCC student who admits that he “screamed all the way” through the high ropes.

At the end of the retreat, some students left having overcome fears, but most left having made new friends.

Chevas Samuels, a single mom and journalism major attending Scottsdale Community College, felt the retreat offered her “practical tools” that would be beneficial for her screenwriting career.

Gateway’s Athletics Director Dan Lufkin, one of the organizers, surmised that the retreat was not only a great way to “kick start” the fall semester, but also a great opportunity for students to “network” and “step outside their comfort zones.”

And step out of their comfort zones, they did.

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