The Rensselaer Union—one of the only student-run Unions in the country—is home to more than 200 clubs, sports, and organizations. Last month, a special Student Officer Summit program was held to connect students with campus programs and resources in order to increase their understanding of club leadership and to assist them with creating club goals for the year.
More than 50 students attended the inaugural Student Officer Summit. The program kicked off with welcome remarks from President of the Union Erin Amarello ’15, followed by goal-setting sessions led by Graham Knowles, associate director/lecturer in the Archer Center for Student Leadership Development.
“The intention of this program was to provide students with information and experiences that enhanced their co-curricular education,” said Cameron Reid McLean, director of student services, who also served as chair for the program. “The Student Officer Summit was a strong collaborative effort between Student Life departments working together to achieve a common goal within the division. Students seemed to enjoy it, and gave us good feedback to use for next year. We will continue the program annually and hope to see it grow with more participation from students and staff.”
“The students here at RPI are the leaders of tomorrow, and any way we can help them improve their organizations and prepare for their future is well worth the time and effort. We hope that by bringing programs like this back into the offered activities at the Rensselaer Union, students will see the opportunity for learning and growth and the program will see an increase in attendance each year.”—Erin Amarello
Several breakout workshops offered “Institute Finance and Risk Assessment,” led by Steve Allard, director of the Mueller Center and club sports, and McLean, which focused on reviewing current procedures and policies; and “Nuts and Bolts,” led by Amy Corron, assistant director of activities, and John Killings, assistant director of student activities and multicultural programs, which reviewed the step-by-step process for designing events on campus.
Additional offerings included: “Connecting Your Student Leadership Role and Employment Skills,” led by Dawn Cairns-Weaver, associate director of the Career and Professional Development Center and director of experiential learning and cooperative education, which focused on showing students how to effectively market their leadership position on their resumes and during an interview; and “Marketing on Campus,” led by Holly Nelson, communications specialist for the Rensselaer Union, which provided students with tips on developing cohesive web, print, and social media strategies to increase awareness and attendance for club events.
“I believe that it is important to provide an avenue for students to grow professionally, personally, and as leaders here at RPI,” said Amarello, who serves as the 125th President of the Rensselaer Union, or PU. “The students here at RPI are the leaders of tomorrow, and any way we can help them improve their organizations and prepare for their future is well worth the time and effort,” Amarello said. “We hope that by bringing programs like this back into the offered activities at the Rensselaer Union, students will see the opportunity for learning and growth and the program will see an increase in attendance each year.”
“I attended the ‘Finance and Risk’ and ‘Marketing’ sessions,” said Shoshana Rubinstein ’15, a student leader serving on both the Student Senate and Union Executive Board. “The summit was a great opportunity for student leaders and it showed from the diverse range of student groups present. The event didn’t just talk about club leadership strategies. Student leaders had an opportunity to participate in workshops of their choice, which provided us with a way to really think critically about ways to improve our clubs. I would recommend that other student leaders, and even club officers-in-training, consider future leadership workshops.”