There are many student activities on campus that I have had the privilege of being involved with as a member of the Cornell community.
In September of my freshman year, I attended an annual event hosted by Les Femmes de Substance (Women of Substance), a professional women's organization dedicated to women of color on campus, called the Ebony Mixer.
The warmth and openness provided from the event led me to apply to the organization as a Freshman Representative and I've been involved ever since. Now approaching my junior year at Cornell, I am pleased to say that I am still a member of Les Femmes de Substance.
This event is designed to stimulate dialogue about how team members can work together to be more efficient and effective.
The challenge of this event is to carry a small ball using a metal ring and rope a€”A  a a€?bull ringa€? a€” through a series of obstacles and place the ball into a goal. Traditionally an icebreaker, this event is designed to get the group interacting and having fun while recognizing the need for good communication, leadership and teamwork.
Creativity, group coordination, communication, leadership, perseverance, determination and many other team and personal skills will be put to the test during this activity. Dona€™t Touch Me will challenge the team to think outside the box and challenge the actual and implied rules.
The purpose of this exercise is to practice clear communication and learn to trust team members during challenging and confusing times. Traditionally an icebreaker, this event is designed to get the group interacting and having fun. This exercise will bring group members closer together as it involves close physical proximity as well as interdependence among participants. The Learning Maze applies to every area of our lives, and the meaning each group discovers is always different. The power of each person to influence the success of the team is never clearer than in this activity. The purpose of this exercise is to inspire team membersa€™ ownership and accountability for change. This exercise shows the necessity of each persona€™s role and responsibility in order for the team to succeed.
River Crossing requires clear communication as well as the passing of critical information from person to person. The art of cooperation is something we are taught as children but still have a hard time applying as adults. The purpose of this exercise is to physically demonstrate the metaphor that every member of a team is an important link in the chain.
The purpose of this exercise is to challenge a teama€™s belief that something is impossible. This simple exercise is designed to help the group practice consensus building and decision making. This exercise explores leadership issues within the team, and the communication difficulties inherent in how groups are structured (in a line). One of the kita€™s best initiatives, this exercise can be used indoors or out and works well early or later in a training session.
This activity is designed to help participants experience the different levels of communication.
This event demonstrates the effects of competition within groups and the power of collaboration. If placed on probation, the organization shall be subject to automatic suspension for two full years if subsequent sponsored activity or activities are found through the above-mentioned procedures to have caused such violation or injury during the period of probation.
We Lead is a free half-day program open to all students from UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout and Chippewa Valley Technical College. This free conference features an opening keynote, several breakout sessions on various leadership topics, and drawings for some great prizes. On Sunday, October 20, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire hosted the seventh annual We Lead Leadership Conference, welcoming students from Chippewa Valley Technical College, UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout.
The free half-day program in Davies Center featured presenters from all participating institutions, including about a dozen student presenters from UW-Eau Claire. The conference opened with a keynote address by Adam Ludwig, a hall director from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. I thought it was a very worthwhile experience, especially since I'm about to graduate and go work in the industry.


We support student-led organizations and programs, train and cultivate leaders, create annual events and provide space for social development to occur. However, one organization in particular comes to mind when I think about the woman that I have developed into, during my time at Cornell. The Ebony Mixer served as a platform for upperclass women to welcome first-year women to campus. During my freshman year, I was able to learn a lot about the organization, its internal operations and how it served the greater community, especially women of color. The journey has not been easy, but it has been worth every lesson, molding experience and all of the bonds created with members of the executive board over the past couple of years.
Participants will recognize the inherent difficulties in some organization structures, such as the typical hierarchy and the chain of command.
In the beginning this event is often considered impossible and causes stress for some participants.
In organizations, workers are often considered students and administrators are usually coaches. We also come up against significant barriers, which must be broken through to increase performance.
It provides an opportunity to notice similarities and commonalities, and sets a tone for the rest of the day. Being physically close creates a setting for cohesiveness and teamwork, and helps break down the invisible walls people build around themselves.
This team building activity simulates how we make decisions when given time and when we are under time pressure. The maze helps groups identify how the team treats mistakes (beeps) and who discovers when a mistake is made. Participants must overcome frustration and resist the temptation to blame each other in order to accomplish the task. This is a great opportunity for team members to voice their commitment to change to the rest of the team. The team will also see the benefit of efficience and how each person is a link in the chain. The focus is on leadership skills and the degree of group participation in the exercise reveal interesting dynamics that allow participants to learn from one another. This event will show what happens when there are gaps in communication and the resulting frustration will be a source of long dialogue. The goal here is to have the entire team involved, demonstrate the power of teamwork and show the interdependence teams have. This event is also a good way to examine individual team membera€™s sense of value and accountability to their team. It is also a great way to explore peoplea€™s willingness to ask for help or give help if it will benefit the whole team.
Everyone can participate and it is a great precursor to more complex problem-solving exercises or workshops. While simple on paper, the experience is powerful as the participants move through the levels of communication. Unless groups identify a common goal, they will compete against each other and ultimately fail as a group.
In the event of such violation or injury, the University investigating officer shall follow the disciplinary procedures for non-academic matters in UWS Chapter 17. With such application, the organization must provide written assurance that the action which led to the suspension will not recur. Whether youa€™re a new leader, an experienced leader, or not even sure if youa€™re a leader, this opportunity is designed with you in mind. More than 100 students attended the leadership development opportunity, with the highest population being freshmen, making up 26% of those registered.
Topics included your professional presentation, learning about love languages, finding your dream job, exploring personal privilege, time management, taking time for yourself, resolving conflict in organizations, building your network, making the most of your advisor, resume building, how social media has changed the hiring process.
Ludwig discussed the courage to be unique, how to embrace your a€?freakya€? side, and how to share that part of your story with others. After this activity the group will be able to identify some of the resistance to change we all share. The power of the lesson learned is gained from pushing past the stress and realizing how important it is for teams to find different ways to look at situations and support each other even when there is no clear path and no one is the expert.


This event will remind all participants what it feels like to be in the other role and should lend insight into how to improve the relationship between the manager and the employee. In this event participants will juggle as many items as fast as possible, without dropping them. The tools it will take to unravel the knot are the same tools the team will need to overcome challenges they will face in work and life. It challenges the group to make a decision and stand by it, understand and accept the decisions of others, and see the whole picture and not just the a€?critical information.a€? Participants identify what is needed to break through limitations, think creatively and focus on the most efficient way to come to a decision.
Stepping into the unknown is necessary for any team to grow and move ahead, and the only question they can answer is how well they ar doing in the process. The activity demonstrates interdependence while highlighting how difficult, but important, reaching consensus can be.
The goal of the exercise is to have the entire team involved, demonstrate the power of teamwork and show the interdependence teams have. If the teams all collaborate instead of compete, they will be able to achieve the highest score possible.
If, in a fair hearing, the organization's activity or activities are found to have caused such violation or injury, the organization shall be subject to reprimand, probation for up to two years, or suspension of the group's University recognition for up to two years. That assurance shall include an explanation of how the organization will avoid the situation which led to the suspension. They also provided tips and templates for succeeding academically, financially and professionally, as college students and beyond. In particular, the experience that I had during the Annual Women's Retreat hooked me even further. I look forward to the impact the organization will continue to have within the community and build upon. Unless otherwise indicated, the total time needed for each exercise is approximately 30 to 45 minutes and should not exceed 60 minutes. This activity simulates a working environment where chaos rules, people are going many different directions, and lots of energy and resources are used to keep all the plates spinning. This is a good event for uncovering team processes and discussing trust and support issues. It is a fun and powerful event to do near the end of a program when participants are beginning to see the value of their own learning. It has been designed to run on a conference room table or in any small room, and is a great event to start off a meeting in which the group will have to make a decision together or solve a problem.
Some find it difficult to be responsible for another persona€™s safety and others find it exhilarating. In reapplying for recognition, the organization shall follow the steps described in Starting a New Student Organization. One weekend in January, 50 women of color were able to go off campus to encounter a life-altering retreat, where we were able to form bonds with one another, connect and learn from Cornell alumnae through professional workshops, and feel empowered by the theme of the retreat.
I truly believe that great things are in store, and hope that more women who identify as women of color will be able to participate in our activities and feel empowered, as so many others have over the years. Participants identify what is needed to break through limitations, think creatively, and focus on the most efficient way to complete tasks. The team members must work through frustrations and differences of opinion to solve this magically difficult event. I remember thinking that I wanted to bond with other women of color on campus more often the way we had during the event.
By the end of my first retreat, I knew that I wanted to commit further to the organization for my second year. I took a more active role during my sophomore year by serving as the Treasurer of the organization. As a Treasurer, I grew in ways that were truly unexpected and was able to form amazing relationships with members of Cornell's administration and leaders of funding sources on campus.



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