Leadership Symposium focuses on grassroots

With the theme of “Grassroots Leadership for Social Change,” Campus and Community Involvement’s Fall Leadership Symposium will focus on things like how to get an organization off the ground, how to market, how to raise funds and how to unite volunteers. At the end of the symposium, teams will compete for a prize for the best project proposal.

The goal of this program is to help students to act on their leadership skills.

“It’s not just about learning what leadership style is. It’s about using that and working on a team to actually make a change or make a plan that could change the community,” said Kate Polivka, assistant director for Campus and Community Involvement.

According to Polivka, CCI hopes to attract students who “are civic minded, who have a creative mindset for solving problems in the community and who are brave enough to try and do something on their own if they feel that there is something that needs to be fixed.”

This type of program can also benefit students in terms of meeting others with similar goals and interests.

“There might be a student interested in creating change but who’s not sure how to do that and this symposium is the perfect framework for them,” said Jamie Thompson, director of Campus and Community Involvement.

Another objective of this program is to promote the “Make a Difference Fund,” for which Trinity students can apply in order to get seed money to create the changes they desire in the community.

In the spring, another leadership program called “Mission: Change” will be held to give students developing a project the chance to go out and execute it.

“Feasibly, students could work through these channels to get some funding and actually execute their project in the spring through ‘Mission: Change,’” Thompson said.

CCI hopes the program will inspire all kinds of students to step up and act on their ideas for change.

“I want them to learn that anybody can be a leader. You don’t need to be the president of a student organization. All it takes is an idea,” said Chris Williams, a junior mathematics major and student worker in the Campus and Community Involvement office.

Williams also sees the benefits the Trinity community can obtain by inspiring a grassroots leadership movement and cites examples like the newly founded Atheist Alliance and the Sexual Diversity Alliance.

“There are so many examples here on this campus. It happens, and it just goes to show that grassroots leadership can really change a campus environment to improve someone’s college experience,” Williams said.

This is the first year the Fall Leadership Symposium is taking place. It is replacing the Student Leadership Conference, which has been held in the past. This year, the symposium will be shorter and narrower in focus in comparison to the conference.

The symposium will be held in the Fiesta Room from noon to 5 p.m. Students interested in the Make a Difference Fund or “Mission: Change” can get more information by contacting the Campus and Community Involvement office.