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Student Senate Leadership Retreat
By Lisa Stump, Student Senate President
27 January 2009

BISMARCK, ND - Happy New Year to all new and returning students and staff!

      This year has been exciting as well as hectic for the senate. The Student Senate decided to wind down and close out the year with a retreat focusing on Native Leadership. We gathered on a blustery Saturday in December at Bismarck’s Radisson Hotel. Thankfully, the hotel staff greeted us with steaming cups of coffee, fresh fruit and bagels.

      We opened up with a prayer and a presentation from Dr. Phil Baird. Dr. Baird is an excellent speaker and knowledgeable on not only the history of tribal colleges but the birth of the organizations that promote Native leadership to the present day. Dr Baird inspired us to take the initiative to become leaders and speakers and continue to do activities promoting leadership among students.

      After a poolside luncheon, UTTC instructor Tyler Stumpf gave a presentation about communication. Tyler encouraged us to learn about the different communication styles in the professional world and gave us pointers on verbal and non verbal communications. Tyler also complemented us on our strength as Native people to adapt to situations as needed.

      We learned about leadership from Dr. Ramona Klein, who led us in discussions and activities to loosen up and become energized. I found the most inspirational comment she made was to get out in the world and teach people about “us” as Natives.

      We wrapped it up with Jesi Shanley thanking everyone and encouraging the students to continue in leadership roles. Jesi also generously provided the students with gas cards and Wal-Mart gift cards. Nobody left empty handed. Thanks Jesi!

      As we handed out the gift cards the Radisson staff delivered once again a delicious meal and every one really enjoyed themselves.

      Thank you all who attended and our awesome speakers and Russell Swagger for allowing us this opportunity. Aho!


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