Brought to B’nai B’rith Camp in Lincoln City, Oregon, for one weekend, several leaders of the University of Oregon’s Fraternity and Sorority Life built relationships within the community in order to fulfill a common goal: success.
The Greek Leadership Academy, an FSL leadership program for boards from chapters, the Panhellenic Council and the Interfraternity Council, met this year on the weekend of Jan. 22 with a total of 48 men and women participating. Each year, the retreat encourages participants to think about their Greek community in a space off-campus.
“This is our flagship leadership program for council throughout the year and it keeps evolving as the community evolves,” Justin Shukas, UO director of FSL, said.
Shukas said that every year there are small group facilitators who contribute to the retreat.
For 2016, the guests were Jaden Brown, performance coach for the International Alpha Tau Omega Headquarters; Cherie Michaud, Greek Alliance Council and PHC advisor for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Leslie Schacht Drey, Oregon State University Director of Center of FSL.
“One of the biggest takeaways is for the community to get together and figure out how they will utilize each other to move forward in a positive direction,” Shukas said.
Abby Beach, UO Delta Delta Delta president, said it was her first time at the retreat, but she gained a lot of information about leadership to take back to her chapter.
“It was one of the best weekends I’ve had,” Beach said. “It was a good weekend to connect with each other and it was a really great opportunity to discuss our ideas and problems to help strengthen the community as a whole.”
UO Panhellenic Council President Tori Ganahl said last year’s Greek Leadership Academy weekend was more personalized to each specific person and their leadership style. In each group session at the retreat last year, Ganahl said men and women were grouped so each leadership position was represented in each team.
However, Ganahl said this year’s system allowed more time to bond as a group, as each council was a team.
“This year was more focused on ‘How can we go back to the Eugene community and share our plans?’ ” Ganahl said. “Just as PHC, we gained so much transparency with each other and were so productive in figuring out what ways to grow as a community as a whole rather than individually.”
Beach said that what made the retreat fun was spending time with other chapter presidents.
“The most influential part was understanding how we’re all agents of change,” Beach said. “We’re the ones in our community that can inspire change and work together.”