The Gustavian Weekly

Retreat brings Greek Community together

By Ben Miller Managing Editor | March 22, 2013 | News

Gustavus fraternities and sororities, local and national, worked together in leadership activities. <em>Submitted</em>

Gustavus fraternities and sororities, local and national, worked together in leadership activities. Submitted

A number of leaders in the campus Greek community spent the weekend of March 15-17 on a retreat at Camp Courage in Maple Lake, Minn.

The retreat was planned to serve a number of purposes related to Gustavus Greek life and the campus as a whole.

“The goals of the retreat were to bring the separate chapters of the Greek community together, to talk about issues facing the Greek community, to plan personal actions to solve those issues, to recognize the Greek community as a community, to think about the future of Greek community at Gustavus, and to get away from campus, to allow the students to concentrate on these things,” Director of Student Life in Student Activities Megan Ruble said.

“Another purpose of the retreat was to bring together current and future Greek leaders to think about the future of the Greek community at Gustavus,” Graduate Assistant in Student Activities and Greek Life Advisor Blair Whitney said.

“The retreat, which used the Five Practices of Exemplary leaders as a guide, was an attempt to elevate the entire Gustavus community,” Ruble said.

These five practices, which are Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart, enable leaders to elevate a community, according to Jim Kouzes’ and Barry Posner’s book, The Leadership Challenge.

“I thought the Five Practices of Exemplary Leaders were really cool,” Junior Member of the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority Abbie Barrett said. “They really relate to how people operate. One person does not run any of the chapters, it’s a group effort.”

“The main thing I took away from this weekend is the fact that anyone can be a leader and that leadership takes many different roles,” Sophomore  and Member of the Tau Psi Omega Fraternity Cameron Cropsey said.

“The retreat included discussions with two lead facilitators, followed by breakout sessions which mixed the students up into groups with other Greek chapters, where they discussed the larger group sessions with special small-group facilitators,” Whitney said. “These sessions were great for the students, but some of the best times of the retreat were during the unstructured portions, which the students could use to bond.”

“I think the retreat was successful,” Junior Co-President of Inter-Greek Senate (IGS) and Member of the Tau Mu Tau Sorority Marley Clark said. “It was good to realize that both national and local chapters are actually similar.”

“It met and succeeded my expectations,” Ruble said. “Now it depends on whether or not people follow through with their personal action plans. Now that we’re back on campus, it’s important for students to keep that motivation.”