• Maddie Dishaw

Briar Cliff Hosts GPAC Student Government Summit

On February 24, Briar Cliff hosted the second annual GPAC (Great Plains Athletic Conference) Summit. This summit was an opportunity for the student governments of all the GPAC schools to connect and share.

The purpose of the summit was to encourage collaboration amongst the different students across the GPAC. One of the many attendees and Freshman Senator, Sydney Lierman, was pleased with the amount of cooperation that took place.

“That’s a great way that we can take off of other people’s ideas and kind of get better as a student government,” Lierman said.

The summit consisted of five hours of various discussions, speakers, and activities.

The day began with a warm welcome from the Briar Cliff President, Dr. Rachelle Keck. They then transitioned into icebreakers where they were mixed-up and got to interact with people from different schools. Student government’s Religious Affairs Senator, Amanda Grell, found these discussions very insightful.

“We discussed, within the first hour, getting to know the individuals better, but also how their student government functions and some areas that they think they really do well in and maybe some areas where they feel they could be doing better,” Grell said.

Next, they listened to a guest speaker, Dr. John Flanery, the President of Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools in Sioux City. The theme of his presentation was about making connections and leaving lasting impressions with everyone you meet. Junior Secretary, Kennedy Andersen, was impressed with Dr. Flanery’s presentation.

“He gave such a great speech about that and was able to connect with, I think, almost everyone there,” Andersen said.

Next, the students did an exercise with Dr. Stephanie Bell where they took the Myer Briggs Personality Test. The purpose of the exercise was to find out what aspects of leadership each student excels in.

“I did think it was helpful,” Grell said. “I think sometimes you don’t even realize some of your strengths until you do one of those quizzes.”

The summit gave a lot of insight into what makes Briar Cliff’s student government successful and what it can improve upon, using the ideas and input from other students in the GPAC.

“I think moving forward, you know, our senate is a pretty good size compared to those in our surrounding schools in the GPAC,” Grell said. “And I think it also speaks volumes as to the work that we are doing, and what we are doing is working.”

Photo Credit: Briar Cliff University / Facebook

Student Government members collaborate in small groups at the GPAC Summit.

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