These are the Connecticut College students who attended the symposium last year.
Connecticut College students at the symposium last year.

The Office of Sustainability at Connecticut College has been selected to host the first-of-its-kind Student Sustainability Leadership (SSL) Symposium. The symposium will be a two-day event that is focused on holistic sustainability and practical leadership skills and techniques.

On Saturday, November 7, student sustainability leaders from colleges across the Northeast are invited to participate in skill-building, interactive workshops. The symposium is an opportunity for aspiring student leaders to learn and be inspired by one another, while developing practical leadership skills that can be applied to their own campuses and communities. Preliminary ideas for workshops include: Effective Communication, Developing a Systems Thinking Approach to Problem-Solving, Power Mapping, Managing Up - How to Develop the Most Effective Relationship with Administrators, and Planning Ahead by Planning Backward.

The second day of the symposium, Sunday, November 8, is designed specifically for the Connecticut College community. It embodies the tenet of full participation by inviting community members, prospective students and alumni to join current students, staff, and faculty in enhancing practical leadership skills that will help us all develop sustainable communities locally, nationally and globally. To find out more about the symposium, click here.

We were chosen to host this event, despite being up against strong contenders because of our holistic view of sustainability. At Connecticut College we believe that sustainability is a framework by which long-lasting solutions to local and global challenges are developed through understanding the connections among social equity, environmental stewardship, and economic well-being and including all within decision making.

When I came back to campus at the beginning of August, I began working as the student coordinator for the SSL symposium. So far it has already been an amazing experience to be working on an event like this. In addition to being the first symposium that focuses on sustainable skill development in the Northeast region, it is also the first major event that the Office of Sustainability is hosting and planning, so I’m incredibly grateful to play such an important role. What is most exciting is that this symposium has the potential to make a big impact, whether it be on Conn’s campus, or another in the Northeast, or in a local, national or global community.
I feel that as a student it is easy to be discouraged when learning about current events and the challenges that surround us, and feeling incapable of generating real change. I want this symposium to make students feel empowered, and to understand that even their work on small scale projects are significant. My goal is that all attendees will walk away from the symposium feeling inspired, feeling confident that they can make a difference, and feeling that they can accomplish something great because of the skills and tools from the workshops that they can continue to develop.

The symposium is rapidly approaching, but I’m confident that with help from all of the other awesome fellows in the Office of Sustainability (Go team!) we can pull off a successful, intellectually stimulating, unique symposium.