On September 4th and 5th this year, the Union of Students held a Leadership Retreat for the Union Part Time Officers and Education Councilors as a way to thank, reward and above all, develop us.
In the two-day retreat we were whisked away for a stay at Ilam Hall in the beautiful Peak District. All of us who attended were given key skills to better perform in our positions as well as working well within the Union as a whole.
This was a time for making interpersonal connections, gaining new skills or fine tuning skills we already had, but most of all to make new friends. We were encouraged to explore the area and hang out with the other attendees in our time off, which I personally took advantage of. I was staying in a room with four Part Time Officers.
When we weren’t in the main classroom doing activities and listening to the information that the Union officers and staff were presenting, we were playing games, exploring the area or chilling out and joking around. On the second day that we were at the retreat, three of us planned to go hiking and at the brisk time of 5.00am we set off on one of the trails into the countryside, even though we couldn’t stop joking throughout the night. We were able to see so many amazing things on our hike and managed to make it back before breakfast and the start of the next day of lessons and activities.
Overall, this experience was amazing and the friends and connections that I made will last for years to come. For me personally it gave me a lot of insight on what a Part Time Officer has to do and not just prepared me for this year as and Education Councilor, but also for when I run for a Part Time Officer next year. I honestly can’t wait to see what this year and the future will bring. I want to thank everyone who worked to put this together and, even though there were a few speed bumps with tech and flat tires, this was a great event! I believe that it helped to make new connections between the Part Time Officers and the Union.
–Wayne C. McFarland (Education Councilor for Human Sciences)