Most Concordia students dream of vacations and summer fun when the month of May rolls around. However, a small group of students return to Concordia College each year after only a short break.
These students are members of the major student organizations on campus, including Student Government Association, Campus Ministry Commission, Campus Entertainment Commission, Campus Service Commission, the Student Environmental Alliance and Colleges against Cancer, and they are returning to participate in the May Leadership Internship.
Students who are preparing to fill leadership positions participate in a two-week long program. This program focuses on personal leadership development as well as collaboration and networking between student leaders.
Jess Almlie, assistant director of student leadership, summarized the goals of the program as cooperation between student leaders, development of leadership skills and organization.
“The May Leadership Internship helps to equip students who will be holding leadership positions in the upcoming year,” said Almlie.
This year’s program took place May 14 through 25 and included a variety of presentations, activities and work time for the student leaders. In addition, presentations were made by both Mark Krejci, provost and dean of the college, and William Craft, president of the college.
The goal of these presentations was to teach the student leaders how Concordia’s administration functions so that they can better utilize the skills and support that Concordia’s staff can provide.
Each year, the group participates in a high ropes course in Park Rapids, Minn., to improve bonding and provide what Almlie calls “leadership outside the classroom.”
Meg Henrickson, SGA president, commented on the impact that the high ropes course had on the student leaders.
“After that day, we were all pretty bonded,” said Henrickson.
Another activity that took place was a strengths finder, which helped students find their personal strengths and discover how they could use these strengths in a group. The strengths finder is a test that students take that highlights skills the student might not have known about before. The goal is self-discovery and personal growth.
“It’s always fun to do the strengths finder,” said Almlie.
During the course of the program, students were also given work time during which they could begin initiatives, work on events, cooperate with other groups, prepare websites and get organized.
Almlie explains that the reason for all this work time is so that students can hit the ground running when fall semester begins.
Carly Grandner, a sophomore and SGA chief of staff, reflected on the work period this year.
“We talked about how people can kind of get stuck in their groups,” said Grandner. “I’m excited that this year we’re trying to change that.”
Another initiative taken up during the work period was that of Charissa Quinlan, president of Colleges against Cancer.
“What I really wanted to do at the May internship was to build relationships with some of the other leaders,” said Quinlan.
She worked to establish partnerships with CEC for a future trivia night and for Colleges Against Cancer’s yearly Relay For Life.
In addition to smaller group initiatives, planning for a big event came out of the work time students had.
“Seems like every year there’s some idea that comes out of that,” said Almlie.
This year it was the C3 Bash; an outdoor event set to take place Sept. 15 from 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Olin Hill. The goal of this event is to recruit more students into three of Concordia’s largest student organizations; CEC, CSC and CMC. The event will include a dunk tank, games, free food and music.