Leadership retreat offers more than lectures


Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

Leaders on campus can develop their skills and hone their influence this semester regardless of prior experience.

“Lions LEAD Retreat,” a conference to help aspiring leaders, is scheduled to be held at Twin Lakes in Florence, Mississippi from April 12-14. Food, board and travel is covered for students by the university.

Rebecca Armanini, Division for Student Affairs student advisor, explained the reason for holding the retreat.

Armanini stated, “The purpose of ‘Lions LEAD’ is to gather students, emerging leaders and evolving leaders, together to talk about topics that are vital to today’s society, help those students build on their leadership skills or find new skills, network, team build and much more.”

Forty-one students have registered to attend this year, the largest number ever recorded.

Armanini recalled her experience at a previous retreat.

“When I first attended the retreat in 2017, I went with two friends and knew only a few ambassadors,” said Aramini. “Before ‘Lions LEAD’ 2017, I was only in one organization and held no positions. After ‘Lions LEAD,’ I felt confident enough to finally join SGA and have held two positions so far.”

Zachary Rogers, interim coordinator for leadership and service in the Office for Student Engagement, explained that student responses in the past have been phenomenal.

“’Lions LEAD’ attracts students from all areas of campus,” shared Rogers. “This allows for us to have a very inclusive event where students learn about leadership from all perspectives.”

Although student responses from the event have been good, Aramini intends to make this retreat better by fixing one flaw.

“Last year’s retreat only had one complaint: not enough free time,” said Aramini. “We have been working extensively on the schedule to fix it, and I believe we have achieved that. We still have lots of time for learning and activities as small groups and an overall group.”

This year’s theme for the retreat is “Lions Leading Through the Decades.”

“The setup of this retreat is very similar to years past,” shared Armanini. “We held the retreat last year at Twin Lakes as well, and it was a hit. Large sleeping quarters, huge venue, bonfires, zip lining, I could go on.”

Rogers believes all students can benefit from the event.

“In the past, we have had SGA leaders, Greek life presidents and active members, individuals in the LGBTQ+ community, students from religious and spiritual organizations, club sports organizations, etc.,” said Rogers. “This really is a great opportunity for all students to come together, learn about leadership and connect with their fellow students.”