Reinhardt University’s 2013 Student Leadership Conference proved to be a huge success. The Glasshouse was full of student leaders eager to learn ways to impact the Reinhardt community. Keynote speaker, Latrell Armstrong, talked to the students about what being a leader in the community means. His message and program, “Making the Dean’s List”, is a true story about a homeless man whose life was changed by one word – potential. Mr. Armstrong empowered students to pursue their full potential and take initiative, to truly become leaders in their community.
Students participated in two quality building games that taught them how to think when dealing with situations in which reaching their full potential could be difficult. The first was an economic, buy-sell stock game where students were paired up and placed in a group with three other sets of partners. They all had one goal: make the most money for their major corporation. Student battled each other every round, some making as much as $37,000 and others losing as much as $26,000. In the end, Mr. Armstrong re-stated the rules to the game – “You are all branches of the same corporation.” His words left the students wondering why they fought so hard when they all had the same goal, and were working for the same pretend company.
The second game Mr. Armstrong presented the students with had an even deeper message. Students had to follow set rules and build their ideal community within a time limit. Frustration and utter confusion ensued. Some students were “arrested” by Mr. Armstrong, who had named himself the Sheriff, and many more were prohibited from making their community as grand as they had wanted it to be. When all was said and done, Mr. Armstrong drove his final point home. With each group committed solely to their small communities, everyone forgot that they were part of an entire city. Instead of branching out of their comfort zones and trying to work with other teams, the students grew irritated with one another and the individual communities quickly became various districts of what a city map looks like.
Instead of working together as a student body, we often become so caught up in prejudices and social classes that we forget we have a common goal to make our school the best that it can be. Mr. Armstrong’s message will be taken to heart by many students, mostly freshman meeting FYS requirements, who stayed, listened and questioned whether or not they were meeting their potential. Now, we ask – Is Reinhardt meeting its potential? And how do we work together, without walls or prejudice, to meet that potential?
Mollie Street, Staff Writer