Written by Colin McLaughlin, Resident Coordinator for Belltower & Trinity Quad, East Campus
As a member of the Housing and Residence life team at Duke I had the opportunity to take five student leaders from our House and Quad Councils to the ACC Leadership Symposium at the University of Pittsburgh. This symposium is a three-day leadership conference for students to engage with their student leader peers across the Atlantic Coast Conference. This year’s theme was “Forging a Future for All” and students were challenged to think about what it means to welcome, celebrate and support every student on their college campus. We heard from impactful speakers who were from the surrounding Pittsburgh area and other University of Pittsburgh Alumni. As much as I was impacted by the speakers during this conference, it was even more meaningful for the student leaders that joined us.
“The ACC Leadership Symposium was an invaluable experience. I was able to connect with other students and take home what their schools do well to implement at here at Duke. Above all, the most powerful part of the trip was listening to Megs Yunn’s speech. As the founder of Beverly’s Birthdays, an organization that provides services for low-income families to ensure every child has a birthday to remember, she taught us how a such a small interaction can create a world of change. Her message was something I will truly never forget.”
-Ella Tillinghast (first-year student and President of Randolph House Council)
One of the main focuses of the weekend was having students participate in a case study and presenting their findings to the entire delegation. Students came together to share social issues they may be facing on their college campuses and discussed strategies for possible interventions. Listening and developing our student leaders is crucial to the success of not only our campus culture but to the student themselves, which I observed was supposed by the ACC leadership symposium.
“The ACC leadership symposium was a significant opportunity for learning and personal growth and development, which not only allowed us to meet leaders from across the ACC but to hear from stakeholders across industries on how we can be better leaders in our college communities.”
-Alessandro Dal Bon (sophomore, Craven Quad Council Co-President)
I am extremely proud of the Duke delegation for all of their hard work, time and dedication they put into the weekend at the ACC Leadership Symposium. The dedication of our student leaders was truly on display during the symposium. The knowledge they gained over the course of the weekend is something they can bring back to Duke and implement in their own communities as well as share new ideas with other student leaders across campus. This is extremely valuable in the new age of QuadEx at Duke and how we are working toward promoting community through various avenues in Housing and Residence Life. Our student leaders are a major part of the success of QuadEx in our residential communities. Giving students opportunities like the ACC Leadership Symposium is just one of the ways we can work toward building up our student leaders at Duke. This will allow our student leaders to bring new ideas to our residential communities and give our students the best experience possible during their time living on campus at Duke.