Hawai’i Pacific University’s Student Government Association sent four representatives to the Amerian Student Government Association National Summit in Washington D.C. this semester. In attendance were Christopher Morrow, our Student Body President, Anya McClenton, our Senator for the Downtown campus, Leilani Feleciano, Senator for the College of Liberal Arts, and Rori Minor, Senator for the College of Business. The group traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent HPU and to learn skills that would make them more productive and efficient in their leadership. The conference ran from October sixth through the ninth.
While attending the conference, the delegates attending meetings that were designed to empower our students, introduce new ideas, and foster solutions to problems that students face across the nation. The session topics included goal-setting techniques, ethics and integrity, organizational effectiveness, teambuilding, structures and systems, effective advocacy, personal growth, conflict resolution, delegation, training and development, meeting management, elections and voting, and public relations. The idea behind attending this conference was to help our student government become better leaders and better serve the student body. The delegates that HPU’s SGA sent were tasked with learning as much as they could and then to returning to teach the rest of our SGA about the ideas, methods, and solutions they had learned while they were in Washington, D.C.
Student governments from colleges and universities from all over the world were in attendance at the ASGA National Summit. There were representatives from Cambodia, Great Britain, Canada, Eygpt, Korea, and of course, the United States. This provided the opportunity for our student leaders to gain insights from students with international perspectives and standpoints. During the conference, our student government representatives exchanged contact information and built rapport with the other student leaders to create a network for addressing problems and finding solutions. This network is a powerful tool that gives our student leaders a way to think outside of the constraints of our university and compare best practices with those of other leading universities of comparable dynamics and size.
The ASGA trip was not only conference meetings with other students. Our delegates visited the Holocaust Museum, the Library of Congress, the U.S. Capitol, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the National Mall and Lincoln Memorial, the Black History Museum, and the National Archives, the home of the U.S. Constitution. It was a very powerful, informative, and enriching experience that helped to widen their perspectives and horizons.
The secondary effect of attending this conference was building a relationship and team cohesiveness between the delegates that were chosen. Traveling abroad helps individuals come together as a group and establish trust in one another, and it fosters teamwork in a way that no other experience or training can.
The most important takeaways from this conference were putting students first through service, commitment, making listening to students concerns the number one priority. HPU’s Student Government Association is dedicated to serving our students body to the best of their ability, and standing up as an advocate voice to represent students’ interest to our staff, faculty, and administration. You can contact your student government through email at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments, or concerns.