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Student representatives forge new bonds at Leadership 2000

Imagine a crisis at a university whose president is Honor Committee Chairman Hunter Ferguson, the Athletic Director is Mike Greenwald, the editor-in-chief of The Cavalier Daily, and Fourth-Year Class President Rhodes Ritenour is the Dean of Students. Word of the crisis spreads rapidly, and now the university community is beating down the doors for answers. President Ferguson calls an emergency meeting and works diligently with his colleagues to resolve the crisis.

The hypothetical situation described above was part of last week's Leadership 2000 program, in which 36 student leaders participated to strengthen their skills and foment important working relationships for the school year.

The program allowed representatives of student organizations to acquaint themselves with one another and spend time with University faculty and administrators.

"The objective of Leadership 2000 was to introduce student leaders to the larger context of the University," Assoc. Dean of Students V. Shamim Sisson said.

"We wanted the students to meet the people they anticipated having to contact during the coming year to advance important goals," Sisson said.

During the week students mingled with members of the athletics department, the Newcomb Hall staff, the Alumni Association, the International Center and the Women's Center, among others. Interaction between the student leaders continued into the night at the Alpha Phi sorority house, which housed all participants.

Assist. Dean of Students Aaron Laushway said it was a successful way to bring the University community together.

"It allowed the faculty, students and administrators a chance to meet and get to know one another," Laushway said.

Leadership 2000's success will ultimately be determined in the future as students continue to work together, Sisson said.

The program "allowed you to learn a lot about the various leaders and their organizations-I really enjoyed interacting with people outside of the normal business" realm, Black Fraternal Council Co-Chair Natanya Mitchell said.