On February 18, more than 80 student government representatives from eight schools came together for the first Northeast Student Government Summit, hosted by Bryant University with representation from Bentley University, Brown University, Johnson and Wales University, Quinnipiac University, Salve Regina University, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Organized by members of the Bryant University Student Government with assistance from the university’s Center for Student Leadership and Involvement and funding from Bryant’s Office of Student Affairs, the summit provided a forum for students to share ideas and best practices and learn from each other’s diverse perspectives. “This summit is all about finding ways to promote positive change,” says Zachary Zambarano ’23, President of Bryant University Student Government and the summit organizer. “The message is, ‘If you want to solve problems, you need to use your voice and take the lead.’ ”
In addition to a networking lunch and an interactive session on communication and teambuilding, the representatives also took part in workshops led by Bryant University staff and faculty. Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Inge-Lise Ameer discussed how student governments can work with college and university administrations to maximize efforts. Jess Raffaele, Assistant Dean, Student Leadership and Experience, worked with the group to help them discover what motivates them and how to use that motivation to aid others. Trustee Professor of Management and best-selling author Michael Roberto, DBA, delivered the keynote address on developing effective leadership skills.
“Leaders become better leaders through listening, discussion, and exchanging ideas,” Zambarano notes, and he aims for the summit to kickstart future conversations. “We hope that this first summit continues to grow into something bigger,” says Zambarano. “We hope that this is part of the legacy we leave behind as it continues to build a community of the current and next generation of student leaders.”