Student leadership conference: Helping students take ideas from passion to action
February 15-17 at Dal
Ryan McNutt - January 17, 2013
Michael Fraser, a community design student and an RA in mini-res, is eager to bring the conversation about student leadership to the East Coast.
“There’s a national student leadership conference each year, but it’s generally in Ontario or out west, which makes it difficult for students from Atlantic Canada to afford to attend,” he explains. “We thought we needed an opportunity for students here on the East Coast to connect and learn from each other.”
With the motto of “network – collaboration – inspire – act,” the first ever East Coast Student Leadership Conference will be hosted at Dalhousie from February 15-17, with students from across Atlantic Canada gathering to discuss how students can make a difference in their community – and globally.
“University is about a lot more than the classroom,” says Taylor Quinn, a double major in International Development Studies and Sociology and Social Anthropology. He’s one of the organizers of the student-run conference, along with Fraser.
“A weekend like this is a way to build on the classroom, and connect with people from different fields. It’s about learning how you can turn your passion into action.”
The conference’s keynote speakers include local entrepreneur Barbara Stegemann, whose business, The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc., sources organic oils from Afghanistan, Haiti and other countries experiencing turmoil to encourage change and reverse issues of war and poverty. She was ranked as having one of the best pitches in the history of CBC’s Dragon’s Den.
Other keynotes include Getaway Farms’ Chris de Waal, who is a a passionate champion of local sustainable food production, and Halifax Member of Parliament Megan Leslie.
Fraser says while he hopes the keynotes inspire students, they’re not the primary focus of the event.
“We want to showcase a few of the brightest, most exciting individuals in our region as inspiration for the open space and world café sessions, and to build on the presentations students themselves will be sharing.”
Students interested in presenting at the conference can submit a proposal by Monday, January 21. The conference itself costs $125, with an early bird rate of $105 until January 25. There is also a conference bursary application available for students with financial need.
Learn more about the East Coast Student Leadership Conference and register at its website: http://www.eastcoaststudentleaders.ca/