GVSU's knights of the roundtable
Liz Kolber, Coordinator of Student Philanthropy, speaking at the University Leadership Roundtable hosted at the Alumni House. GVL / Robert Mathews
More than 50 student and faculty leaders across campus, from sorority members to student senators, gathered for this years University Leadership Roundtable on Jan. 17. Though they didn’t come with swords and armor, they came with the goal to improve campus and spent the evening collaborating with the Lakers Tradition Team.
“At the end of the day, being a Laker is a feeling,” said Liz Kolberg, coordinator of student philanthropy at Grand Valley State University. “A feeling that you have to go out and do something with.”
The University Leadership Roundtable was held at the Grand Valley Alumni House as a part of Campus Leadership Week, which was hosted by the Office of Student Life and Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society. It was designed to recognize the different outlets of student leadership around campus and gave the Student Senate a chance to gather input from other student leaders.
Preceding the dinner, Student Senate President Ricardo Benavidez reinstated the State of the University address, which has not been done in several years. He thanked student leaders for their achievements and highlighted certain areas that still need work.
The State of the University address is something common on other campuses, and Benavidez said he hopes that this tradition will continue to be upheld and soon be a part of the roundtable dinner. He touched on student senate’s past and future projects, such as the expansion of The Rapid bus route, gender neutral bathrooms and the unique relationship the senate has with the university.
“Student Senate comes from students and is enforced by students,” Benavidez said. “We have faculty that support us and treat us as adults in university matters helping us to get things done at the university level.”
The roundtable started off with a presentation by Kolberg, who discussed the main topics that The Laker Tradition’s Team focuses on, relating these goals to the student population.
“Our goal with the Laker Traditions Team is to help make a positive culture for students that will transition into the Laker for a Lifetime ideals,” she said.
Following Kolberg’s presentation, students and faculty were asked to discuss improvement possibilities on current Laker traditions, such as Battle of The Valleys and Founders Day. Participants brainstormed ideas to improve the connection between GVSU satellite campuses in Traverse City, Holland and Detroit and looked into ways to keep all those involved with the university engaged with the Laker Traditions team and Student Senate.
“Meeting with other campus leaders at the University Leadership Roundtable was productive,” said John Cook, a member of the Student Senate. “It became apparent that Grand Valley values their student organizations and sees the impact that they have on the student body.”
Ideas such as a larger scale Founders Day and alumni involvement were brought up and expanded upon during this time.