On Thursday, May 4, the St. Catherine University (St. Kate’s) Leadership, Encouragement, Assistance, and Development Team (LEAD Team) held an event outside of the O’Shaughnessy to teach St. Kate’s students about the university’s Leadership Statement. The event ran over the lunch hour on a beautiful sunny day.

Five different activities were provided for students to participate in, each representing an aspect of the St. Kate’s Leadership Statement, according to Deb Miner, LEAD Team advisor. For one activity, students were given a sheet of paper asking them to reflect on how they have “[committed] to the values of justice and caring” as well as “being able to take risks willingly and challenge [themselves].”

Another activity involved students trying to build the tallest tower they could out of straws within a two-minute time limit. Elizabeth Hermodson-Olsen ’18, biology major, led this particular activity. She explained that it is LEAD Team’s “role and goal to let the student body know about St. Catherine University’s Leadership Statement.” She saw the event as a way of “incorporating the tenants of the Leadership Statement and finding ways to teach students they are leaders.”

The tower building exercise was meant to incorporate using resources wisely and thinking creatively and critically, another aspect of the Leadership Statement. Hermodson-Olsen provided participants with the resources—straws and tape—leaving them to use critical and creative thinking to figure out what was necessary to make a tall and sturdy tower within the time limit.

St. Kate’s staff participates in the tower building activity.

Students could also write down the names of people or clubs that have inspired them. This correlated with having a strong self-concept, as well as acting with and appreciating others. LEAD Team intends to display the list of names somewhere on campus for everyone to see. Similarly, another activity involved students writing notes of appreciation to others on campus. The notes would then be sent to student mailboxes.

The final activity encouraged collaboration, falling into the part of the statement “collaborates in diverse groups.” Students would be put into groups and stack cups while working together.

St. Kate’s students working in the cup stacking exercise.

For every activity students participated in, they received a mark on their hand. When students completed three activities, they received ice cream as their prize.

Miner explained that LEAD Team is a peer leadership training group. Throughout the year, LEAD Team has offered workshops to help encourage leadership within the St. Kate’s community, as well as inspire collaborative structures on campus. The event outside the O’Shaughnessy was put together by the students who showed interest in the St. Kate’s Leadership Statement and wanted to make that a large part of the community again. “Seeing other people [be effective leaders] helps you become an effective leader,” Miner says.

While the LEAD Team event was going on, by happy coincidence, the St. Kate’s pan ensemble, led by Andy Martin, was outside practicing just down the quad, providing music for students enjoying the event, as well as the wonderful weather.

St. Kate’s students jumping into pan ensemble practice.