(Morgantown, WV) - Vision and service were only a few aspects of the West Virginia University Student Government Association’s annual retreat, which took student leaders from Morgantown to Camp Giscowheco, near Wheeling, W.Va., to focus on team building and service from August 6th through 8th.
During the retreat, more than 20 SGA members volunteered to assist with flood relief efforts in Hundred, W.Va., located near the northern panhandle of the state. SGA organized and unloaded supplies at a distribution center and cleaned out a garage and home that had been destroyed by the flood.
“We were able to interact with fellow West Virginians and lend a hand when they needed it the most,” said Blake Humphrey, West Virginia University Student Body President. “As student leaders, we not only have a mission to serve our peers on campus, but also engage in community service across our state.”
Student leaders were able to brainstorm solutions to campus and higher education issues while learning about effective communication and facilitation through a seminar hosted by the Interactivity Foundation.
"The techniques IF showed us will allow this organization to be more collaborative with planning and problem solving,” said Shannon Smith, Student Body Vice President. “We will be able to use this method to understand and communicate more effectively and efficiently with our peers and fellow Mountaineers.”
IF Facilitators used large poster boards to take notes as students spoke, and helped foster a creative and innovative environment for discussions and inquiry.
The retreat ended with student leaders setting individual goals, and creating a vision statement for the organization. SGA’s vision is to create “upward mobility and growth of the student body, West Virginia University and the State of West Virginia.”
“To be a Student Government Association that serves the students, West Virginia University, and the State of West Virginia by; promoting inclusion, creating a campus that can accommodate everyone, actively engaging all 55 counties in West Virginia, supporting economic development, enhancing environmental stewardship, participating in meaningful community service, fostering healthy lifestyles, and developing innovative partnerships with students, faculty, staff and other key stakeholders,” the vision statement reads.
“The goals we set during this retreat will set the tone for the rest of the year and beyond. We have so much to accomplish for our fellow Mountaineers, and our vision statement will help us focus on the future of not only SGA, but our university and state as well,” Humphrey said.
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