By Corey Boice
On Saturday, November 18, a group of Hilbert students went to Villa Maria College to take part in educational sessions to help bring leadership skills back to the Hilbert College Campus. The event started at 9 a.m. and wrapped up at 4 p.m. Groups representing the college were the Student Government Association, Campus Activities Board, Adventure Club, Gaming and Anime Club, and Phi Beta Lambda Student Business Association. Fourteen Western New York colleges attended the conference, including students from Alfred State, D’Youville College, Daemen College, Erie Community College, Genesee Community College, Medaille College, Niagara University, Buffalo State College, SUNY Geneseo, The College at Brockport, Trocaire College, University at Buffalo, and Villa Maria College.
Most attendees were student leaders at their own colleges along with a few resident assistants who were there expanding their knowledge of leadership. The educational sessions in each block focused on the different aspects of leadership, as well as different views on those topics and how it relates back to leadership. The sessions explored topics like introverts, extroverts, empowering one’s self, and other aspects of leadership. For example, everyone has different values that they hold dear, and it is those values that help a leader decide on how to effectively plan.
The planning committee was instrumental in putting the conference together. One member of the committee, D. J. Schier, is the Director of Student Life at Villa Maria College. Having the conference at Villa Maria this year was an amazing experience for Schier. He had fun doing a layout for the conference, deciding what rooms would be used, and how the conference could take advantage of the historic spaces at Villa Maria. The student leaders were excited to have a chance to show off their school that they love so much.
One would think that a conference that is supposed to cater to students would be difficult to plan, but Schier found a way to make it easy. The committee and the college were able to meet all of the deadlines that they set out for themselves. Everything seemed to fall into place for them; however, Schier did mention that one of the hardest parts was deciding on food for the event. Villa Maria does not have catering at the college on the weekends, so it was not an easy task to try and find food that would appeal to most students while avoiding as many food allergies as possible. Regardless of how difficult the task was, everyone there loved the options that were presented, and Schier said it was like a weight was lifted off his shoulders.
With the planning committee working together efficiently, it really helped bring everything together to help maximize the experience for the students who came to the conference. Aside from the committee, Schier also stated that the conference would not have been possible if it were not for the help of his student. The students helped with setups, signage, tours of the campus during registration, prepping the giveaways, and with other tasks throughout the day. There were a lot of thanks given to the planning committee and the students of Villa Maria College, and it was thanks that were well deserved.