Mercer University hosted its annual leadership conference titled Leadership MU throughout March 19–21.
Leadership MU is a leadership conference that was organized by Campus Life and the Division of Student Affairs in order to provide students with an opportunity to learn about various topics surrounding leadership.
The conference includes various events targeted to students interested in bettering their leadership skills.
Every year, the conference has a different theme and each event goes hand-in-hand with this theme. This year the conference was titled The Pursuit of Equality, focusing on how leadership can affect the issue of equality in America.
The events for the conference consisted of: a leadership fair, a leadership panel, and a keynote speech given by former Georgia Commissioner of Labor, Michael Thurmond.
The conference began in 2005 with a group of students who felt the need to express the importance of leadership on Mercer’s campus.
As time has progressed, less students are attending these events which is concerning to the Campus Life staff.
Carrie Ingoldsby said, “I think that it’s time to reinvent the wheel and do some new things with leadership activities for students. Attendance is dropping so we need to give this a long, hard look and make some changes. We rely on student’s feedback for that.”
In order to receive the student feedback that Ingoldsby is looking for, a leadership committee, composed of students and staff, is being formed.
This will hopefully give students the opportunity to voice their opinions so that leadership programs offered will appeal to the majority of the student body rather than just a select few.
This committee will help with ideas for new leadership programs as well as planning and advertising those programs.
“I am really excited about the new ideas that the students and other staff members will bring to the table. There is great potential here and we have the ability to offer some wonderful programs. We just need to make sure that students are involved and help plan the events,” said Ingoldsby.
Despite the dwindling attendance rate, student Eric Ennuson believes that this conference has been a positive influence on him and has impacted his leadership abilities.
“This conference has actually motivated me to listen to the concerns of the student body more,” said Ennuson.
“Ultimately, I can say that this conference has motivated me to re-run for Senator-at-Large with the main focus of listening to the concerns of the students and bring them before the Student Government and making a difference for the benefit of this University,” said Ennuson.
Ennunson expressed that this event has greatly impacted him and could potentially have the same impact on the rest of the student body.
A total of 33 students attended the leadership panel and 52 students attended the keynote speech.
Ingoldsby said, “Overall it was a great experience and there was great conversation about political issues and leadership. It was also a great way for students to make connections with and to get to know leaders in the Macon community.”
Members of the Campus Life and Student Affairs staff are looking forward to creating a leadership committee on campus and encourage all students who are interested in this program to contact the office of Campus Life for more information.