At the start of each year, one of the academic buildings on campus is filled with Kean University's Greek organizations for the annual Greek Senate Conference. This year on Friday, Sept. 6, in the North Avenue Academic Building (NAAB), the Greeks went through multiple workshops designed to get them interacting with one another, to teach them how to continue to be good leaders and how to make the rest of the academic year a great one.
Hosted by the Greek Senate, the Greek Senate Conference was about bringing everyone together to regroup and reorganize for the new semester. The Greeks work hard to encourage giving back to the community and being strong leaders on campus. While this is always something the Greeks aspire to, the Greek Senate Conference was the chance for new and returning members to brush up on their skills in achieving their goals.
One of the biggest takeaways from the meeting was togetherness between the Greeks. There were many times during the workshops where they were told to work together or to find members from different organizations to work with. This specifically came up during their Branding for Social Media Workshop, where the Greeks were put into groups to help each other make their social media more inviting to people visiting their pages. Through these moments, the Greeks were learning not only learning how to be good leaders, but also how to use their skills and knowledge to help each other make their organizations great.
Gerard Smithwrick, a Kean University alumnus and a member of the Beta Kappa Psi Black and Latino Fraternity, Inc., was the guest speaker for the Greek Senate Conference this year. Smithwrick agreed that Greeks working together, learning from each other and making sure that Greek voices were heard was a large part of the conference.
"It was really important for us to really address issues and concerns that really faced the Greek community at this campus. [The conference goal was] to get the Greeks to really come together, to learn and bring in guest speakers to talk about things that affect our community to re-motivate and inspire the Greek community to do good work. [Kean Greeks strive] to reach for that five star organizational level, to find out best practices that we could implement in our organization and to have a good start to the academic year so that we could really make the most out of that year," said Smithwrick.
The conference did that and much more, inviting members of the community to speak up on issues facing Kean Greeks, to talk to each other on how they could face those issues together and to allow them to have some fun by playing ice breaker games like a version of Rock, Paper, Scissors called Giants, Wizards and Elves.
All in all, the Greek Senate Conference was successful in its goal of pushing the Greeks to start the year off right as a community of leaders.