Every summer, students from all 28 Jesuit Universities throughout the United States gather at a Jesuit University to attend the National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference, a 5 day conference centered around a theme that embodies the Jesuit spirit. This past summer, I was lucky enough to be chosen to travel to Regis University in Denver, Colorado with 15 other Fordham student leaders to attend the Peace by Piece conference. NJSLC is designed for student leaders to connect with students and faculty from other Jesuit institutions and gives students a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills, learn how other institutions’ student government function, and compare ideas to further the Jesuit mission.
|The 2016 Fordham Delegates from Lincoln Center & Rose Hill|
|Me & Francesca doing the Ropes Course|
In addition to workshops, we were also given time to venture into Denver. One night we went into Downtown Denver, where we got to eat a delicious dinner and do some exploring (we even happened to run into Ben Higgins, the most recent Bachelor!). In addition, one day of the conference was devoted to a “Colorado Adventure”. Fordham’s group went to a ropes challenge course in the mountains where we participated in team-building exercises. Not only did I conquer my fear of heights and do some bonding with the other Fordham students, but we got some spectacular views of the Flatiron Mountains.
|Views from our Sunrise Hike|
The 2016 conference was centered around the promotion of peace and disarmament. Two days were devoted to educational workshops put on by students from the universities and each conference participant was required to attend three workshops. I attended a Privilege Walk put on by Seattle University, an open dialogue on the Black Lives Matter movement by Gonzaga University, and a presentation on peaceful protests by Saint Louis University. All of the presentations were extremely informative and they were made all the more relevant because they were put on by students my age. It was inspiring to see how much positive change students are creating at Jesuit institutions across the nation!
While the conference activities were fun and informative, my favorite part of the conference was spending time with the other Fordham delegates. Fordham’s group was split between Rose Hill and Lincoln Center, and I got to meet some amazing LC students that I probably never would’ve connected with had it not been for NJSLC. One of the mornings, our group chose to wake up at 4:00am and go on a sunrise hike in the Red Rocks. The view was stunning and the experience was unforgettable. It made me realize how fortunate I am to be surrounded by such amazing, caring people at Fordham.
Fordham makes it so easy to get involved and becoming a student leader is some of the best ways to meet people. Whether you join United Student Government, Campus Activities Board, or one of our 125+ clubs, you’re sure to meet some amazing people and make unforgettable memories that you’ll cherish in the years beyond graduation. NJSLC has been one of my favorite Fordham experiences and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to attend next year’s conference in Washington DC!