Apart from finally filling in those course evaluation forms that UBC kept reminding me about, my other major achievement of the day has been to sit down and register for the UBC Student Leadership Conference (Saturday 14 January 2012).
The theme of this year’s conference?
We have a couple of members on the Blog Squad who are on the SLC planning committee, so I’ll let them do most of the promotional work. I do want to share a few of my thoughts on the SLC, though:
The SLC is one of those opportunities I highly recommend all UBC students to attend at least once in your time here, and decide whether you want to continue going. It’s a day for hundreds of interested, interesting individuals to gather, learn from and share one another’s experiences in all kinds of areas, ranging from personal and career development to sustainability initiatives and humanitarian work. Traditionally, this has been one of the highlights of my year, and always makes for a great, motivational start to Term 2.
If you need help covering the registration cost ($30 for UBC students), try entering their contests for free registration!
Running from December 1st to December 31st, students are allowed to enter as many times as they like, with 2 winners announced each week! That’s right, that’s a whole 8 free registrations being given out this December — and the SLC team are promising another contest in January.
You might also be surprised by how many campus organisations sponsor students to go to the SLC: REC, RezLife, Orientations, Student Development and academic coaching groups are just a few of the major ones. In my first and second year, I was sponsored by the VP Students’ Emerging Leaders Program, and this year, my registration fee is kindly being covered by my employer. If you’d really like to go and you’re involved with an organisation that hasn’t mentioned it yet, don’t be afraid to bring up the possibility!
A note on choosing your schedule for the day:
Everyone has to go to the Featured Presenters, but how do you choose among the workshops, Highlighted Presentations and Case Studies?
Workshops: For what it’s worth, I found these most helpful in first and second years, when I first started going to the SLC and wasn’t familiar with the whole format. These were at times when I was particularly sponge-like and eager to soak up everything around me. By third year, however, the workshops were beginning to sound familiar and I wasn’t getting as much out of them as I used to. I should have applied to present my own workshop at this point, but health reasons intervened, and I dropped the idea, to my own regret.
Highlighted Projects: A new initiative last year, I attended a couple of these in an attempt to keep the SLC experience fresh for myself. While it was interesting to see what other students were up to, I had no ‘aha!’ moments. This year, however, the SLC team are making the highlighted projects a whole stream, with a suggested schedule of a highlighted project in the first concurrent session, a ‘Freeflow’ lunchtime session, and a special workshop in the second concurrent session.
Case Studies: Tyler wrote a post on his experiences with case studies last year, which you should definitely check out. Aimed at senior-level students and alumni with past SLC experience, case studies provide opportunities to discuss and analyse UBC initiatives. The reason why I didn’t do this last year was because, as Tyler mentions, there were no further details provided on the format or subject of the case studies. Being a bit of a planner, I want to know if I’ll have any interest in or thoughts to contribute towards the areas being discussed before I sign up for them. Apparently, there will be four case studies this year, but again, no mention of what they actually are.
On reflection, I probably should have signed up for a case study last time. While I’m still thinking about it for this year, I’m veering more towards the highlighted projects stream, particularly the ones that go beyond campus. You see, although my life right now revolves almost exclusively around the UBC community — I live, work and study on campus, for crying out loud — my thoughts are wandering well away from this particular area. I’m not currently planning on being here next year and the case studies seem most suited to those who will continue to stick around and engage with them in the months to come.
Personally, I’m looking forward to discovering the possibilities within the greater Vancouver community — or perhaps an entirely different part of the world.
On another note, I was curious about what I thought of past SLCs and started reading my old UBC blog, which I kept from first to third year before switching here. May I say how strange it is to read your old writing? For one, I put my heart on display far more than I would ever do now. On the bright side, all this cringing I’m doing is kind of good news for my non-existent abs.
If you want to see the kind of effect the SLC can have:
SLC 2011: Rethinking Leadership
SLC 2010: Think Change. Press Play
SLC 2009: Synergy
SLC 2008: Activation Energy
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