By: Lloyd Franklin
On Saturday, March 1, the Office of External Vice President (EVP) hosted the 2nd Annual Conference of Private Universities (CPU). The purpose of this conference was to strengthen the relationship between private universities in the area. Representatives from Texas Christian University, Dallas Baptist University, and Baylor University were in attendance.
According to External Vice President Bryan Fonville, "Hosting student leaders from private universities in this area was an excellent opportunity to network and to share ideas."
The one-day conference lasted from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and was held in the Bill Daniel Student Center. Several speakers addressed conference attendees, including Dr. Elizabeth Palacios, Allan R. Marshall, Dr. Blaine McCormick, and Dr. Samuel W. "Dub" Oliver.
Dr. Palacios began the day's events by speaking about the importance of inclusiveness on the campuses of private universities. She encouraged the student leaders to create a culture of inclusiveness on there respective campuses. Dr. Palacios stressed the importance of working with people of different backgrounds and developing leadership skills in others.
After a brief discussion, Allan R. Marshall spoke about the necessity for a student government engaged in the community. Marshall, who is a former EVP and who hosted the first CPU last year, talked about the role he plays at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce. He discussed the role universities can play in improving their communities by starting tutoring, mentoring, and reading programs. Marshall cited the One Book, One Waco program as an example of a successful community endeavor.
In perhaps the most interesting session of the day, Dr. Blaine McCormick spoke about what student leaders can do to keep their organization relevant and innovative. He gave the student leaders tips for enhancing both their personal and institutional leadership skills. McCormick concluded his comments by challenging the student leaders to advocate for the students they serve.
Dr. Oliver was the conference's final speaker. Oliver discussed the traits effective leaders possess. Oliver said effective leaders model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart.
In addition to speakers, the conference also included several discussion sessions. During these sessions, representatives from each campus described the structure of their student governments, the challenges they have faced, and their ideas for the future.
"We heard many interesting ideas we can implement in Baylor's student government," said Student Senator Tommy Takyi-Micah. "It was really neat to see what other student governments are doing around the area."
Conference participants from all three universities learned a great deal from each other and established valuable relationships for the future.
"As a student government, it's important that we stay in touch with student leaders at other universities," said Fonville. "In particular, we especially want to connect in a meaningful way with student governments at local private universities. Our organizations have a lot in common, which provided for some pretty engaging discussion."
*Dr. Blaine McCormick address CPU attendees over lunch.
*CPU Attendees get an up close look at the Immortal Ten Statue.
*Senator Jessica Liu (green shirt) gives a tour of the SG office.