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Lack of participants cancels leadership retreat

Even though all the plans were in place, a lack in the number of participants caused the Striving to Inspire New Greatness leadership retreat to be canceled. The retreat, hosted by Blue Key Honor society, was supposed to be held last Saturday, March 1 in the Memorial Union.

This retreat was to be the first of its kind at Emporia State. The honor society had been planning the event since November. Rachel Marshall, senior communication major, president of Blue Key and opinion writer for The Bulletin, said they originally hoped to get up to 150 participants.

“That’s how we are with Blue Key – we like to shoot for the stars and dream big,” Marshall said. “But then once it got closer and we were thinking more realistically, we were shooting for 40 to 60.”

The event was cancelled on Feb. 26 in the evening. Only around 14-17 students had signed up at that point.

The day-long retreat, which was intended to start with check-in at 8:30 a.m. and end around 4:30 p.m., included breakfast, group sessions, leadership panels, a leadership class, a speaker from the Kansas Leadership Center and group breakout sessions.

Some of the group breakout sessions were presentations prepared and offered by three Recognized Student Organizations, The Bulletin, PRIDE and Sigma Tau Gamma.

The event was targeted toward freshmen and students who were looking to be more involved and possibly fill leadership positions.

“Everybody has these unique and innate qualities that they can further develop,” said Nathan Woolard, director of leadership studies. “Everybody is a leader in their own way.”

Candy Cote, freshman chemistry major, said she was disappointed because she wanted to go.

“I wanted to learn more about time management and leadership so that I can take over more leadership positions in my RSOs,” Cote said.

Cote is involved with Sigma Sigma Sigma, Youth Mentors, Red Cross Club and Student Ambassadors, among others.

“I just wish more people would have signed up,” Cote said.

Those involved in planning the event believe the turnout wasn’t better because of how new something like this is to Emporia State. They also pointed to scheduling conflicts on that day, such as the International Food Festival, but they are hopeful to try again next spring.

“It was really disappointing because we did put a lot of hard work into it,” Marshall said. “We don’t want to think of it as a negative thing. We want to learn from it and have a better event next year.”

Blue Key Honor Society plans to host a similar retreat in spring 2015.

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