Clubs locked in for six hours of leadership learning

The fourth annual Passport to Programming, which occurred Saturday, Sept. 15, is part of an effort “to enhance school spirit and pride, support student activities and leadership education, and improve our athletic and recreational facilities,” according to Jim Norfleet, vice president of Student Affairs at the College.

Passport to Programming is aimed to provide student leaders with workshops on how to better their organizations. Workshops and seminars such as “Managing Web Content” and “Member Motivation” were among the many available for students to attend.

The event is considered so important for the College’s student organizations that the Student Finance Board (SFB) made it a requirement “that all organizations funded through the Student Activities Fund, including club sports, send a minimum of three members to Passport to Programing.” Two of the required members had to be officers, according to SFB’s Web site.

The event lasted from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on a Saturday. Student leaders were provided with free breakfast and lunch.

Though Passport to Programming is a requirement, Norfleet said organizations do benefit from the event. The College is planning on continuing the program.

“Yes, in fact we will expand it in the future,” Norfleet said. “Among the ideas we’ll explore are adding a keynote speaker, several workshop tracks and a range of activities.”

“In my opinion, Passport to Programming is an invaluable resource to (the College’s) organizations. Campus Activities consistently does an impressive job of offering a wide variety of workshops from year to year, all of which are excellent and chock full of beneficial information,” Alanna Jamieson, president of the Leadership Development Program (LDP), said.

“There is something to be learned for every level of student leader and organization, from the budding to the mature, and yesterday was even more proof of that, as there were more sessions and workshop topics offered than ever before,” she said.

Passport to Programming is an event that is sponsored by the office of Student Activities and Leadership Development.

“As part of the first phase of the Student Affairs transformation, we’re doubling the size of our staff in Campus Activities,” Norfleet said.

“What this means is that in addition to Tim Asher, who directs the office, and Dave Conner, who coordinates fraternity and sorority programs, we will hire an assistant director of student activities and an associate director of leadership development. We’ll also explore ways to get more faculty, staff and alumni involved in mentoring student leaders and advising student organizations,” he added.

Matt Winkel, College webmaster, unveiled Drupal, a new tool for student organizations to build Web sites. Students were also offered several courses on leadership, publicity and fundraising, as well as a walkthrough of the SFB manual for club treasurers.

Not every student leader felt they benifited from the event.

Josette Marrero, Uni?n Latina publicity chairperson, said the program taught her how to better publicize her organization. However, she also questioned the usefulness of the program.

“Experience to me is more important than what they teach you to do in a seminar,” she said.

Genghis Tan, president of the Asian American Association, said some of the names of the programs were misleading.

“Some of the programs that were offered did not offer what the student leaders wanted,” he said. “They didn’t teach us anything we didn’t know.”