Life on campus should be one of the most empowering, fun-filled, insightful times of one’s life, and this semester, just over 300 students of the Aston Preston Hall of Residence, at The University of the West Indies, Mona, will be looking to their student leaders to help bring that expectation to life.
Student leaders are responsible for planning and executing student-led activities and events.
In preparation for what they hope will be a successful semester, the Administrative Team of Resident Advisors (graduate students of The UWI) for the Hall sought to empower their student leaders during a four-day leadership retreat recently. Through a series of virtual seminars, the retreat zoomed in on improving the team’s leadership skills in the areas of communication, time management, emotional intelligence, event planning, proposal writing, and conflict resolution.
To culminate the week of seminars, the team of 25 student leaders and Resident Advisors headed to the picturesque Sandals South Coast, where they were hosted for final planning meetings and much-anticipated team-building exercises.
According to Resident Advisor, Tahir Thompson, the A.Z Preston Hall Residential Leadership Programme hones and develops the leadership skills of new and returning residents. “We host two major developmental workshops throughout the year. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the mid-year retreat has been held virtually and so were the first days of this retreat. Our day at Sandals South Coast was the first face-to-face gathering for the team since January 2020,” said Thompson.
He noted that the team’s visit to Sandals South Coast was intended to have fun while working on improving team relations before the serious work ahead in the upcoming semester.
And from all indications, the luxury-included® resort did not disappoint. According to Hall Chairman, Rasheed Whyte, the day was amazing and his team could not have asked for a better experience. “Sandals South Coast is the ideal place to have facilitated our leadership retreat. The team had fun and truly bonded,” he noted.
He went further to thank the resort’s General Manager, O’Brian Heron, and his courteous and professional staff for their engaging and fun activities, which included a live cooking demonstration and competition and a mixology session with intermittent dance battles led by the resort’s food and beverage and entertainment teams. “We truly learned a lot and to top it off the physical plant was immaculately kept! All in all a great place. .”
The student leaders from the Aston Preston Hall of Residence, UWI (Mona) are elected
members of the Hall Committee led by the Hall Chairman and his Deputy. Among the other student leaders of the Hall, are those appointed to the Preston Entertainment and Cultural Ensemble (PEACE) – the body which specialises in developing a host of skills and competences in entertainment and culture at the hall. This is done through several arms, namely: Dance, Drama, Sign Language, Chorale, Photography, Elocution, Culinary, and Art & Craft. PEACE is currently led by its President, Jerridene Smith, and a slate of Executive Committee Members. All student leaders read for degrees in various programmes at the UWI and are in their first to third year of study.