Student government Cabinet members traveled to the Table Rock Campground to build a strong community in the group.
By Joe Sullivan
Student government leaders spent the weekend on retreat in the Pisgah National Forest developing leadership skills, bonding and fighting the mosquitoes.
The retreat focused more on building a sense of teamwork than on policy issues.
Student Body President Justin Young led members of his Cabinet to Table Rock Campground near Morganton. The group left early Thursday for the four-day trip cosponsored by Outward Bound.
Young said the retreat's purpose was to get everyone from his Cabinet on the same page and to learn to work as a group. "One of the goals of the trip was to build a stronger community within the Cabinet and across campus with the various groups we interact with," he said.
Student Body Secretary Dustyn Baker echoed Young's sentiments, saying the weekend established a strong dialogue among leaders.
"It set the groundwork for good discussion and understanding the importance of Justin's platform but additionally finding avenues to learn about student concerns and voicing those concerns to the appropriate administrators," she said.
Baker said one of the issues discussed was the role and goals of the Carolina Lobby Corps. She said the group decided the corps, which was formed in August to lobby for student concerns, also should train students to lobby.
The group spent the days mostly hiking and rock climbing and concluded the trip with a four-mile run around base camp. Young said the trip was tiring but that group members learned a lot about themselves. "The challenges that we faced out there were very applicable to those challenges we face here on campus in doing our best to represent each and every student."
The Cabinet's trip came at an eventful time, with Chancellor James Moeser's State of the University Address last Wednesday and the N.C. General Assembly passing a tuition increase two weeks ago. Young said the timing was purely coincidental because the retreat was planned long in advance.
Although Young said his group was more focused on team building than discussing the issues raised by Moeser's speech, he said he is ready to react now that he is back on campus.
Regarding Moeser's remarks about the recently released U.S. News & World Report rankings, in which UNC dropped to fifth place among public universities, Young emphasized that University officials shouldn't concern themselves with rankings.
"The positive change that goes on here on campus should be initiated by us as a community and not by some external force that's establishing some ranking," he said.
Young also said he thinks his job includes keeping tabs on and fighting future tuition increase proposals.
"My job is to make sure that I pay close attention to any proposals in regard to tuition increases and to be able to communicate the concerns of all students on this campus."
The University Editor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.