By Megan Ondrizek
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 13, 2014) — The next big show of intercollegiate sportsmanship is set—and no, it isn’t March Madness yet. Delegations of five students from each school in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) will meet in Miami February 21-23 during the 2014 ACC Leadership Symposium. The symposium will be held in the University of Miami’s Student Activities Center and is organized by the Division of Student Affairs and the William R. Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development.
This year’s theme is The Next Generation of Social Change. Student delegates will learn about issues such as energy, education, gentrification, LGBTQ rights, immigration, and mental health through interactive workshop sessions, keynote presentations, and a community service experience.
“This is the first time that the University of Miami has had the opportunity to host the ACC Leadership Symposium, and we’re honored to welcome our ACC peers to the new Student Activities Center,” said Patricia A. Whitely, vice president for Student Affairs. “We hope that this weekend will provide students the leadership skills necessary to encourage discussions and viable projects on social change within their campus communities.”
Keynote remarks will be given by Neil Phillips, 2012 Echoing Green fellow and founder and executive director of Visible Men, an organization dedicated to elevating the performance of young black males in their schools and communities.
University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala, former secretary of health and human services, will welcome the 80 symposium delegates and 16 university administrators to the Coral Gables campus.
“The symposium is a great way for student leaders of diverse backgrounds to create a forum on issues facing their communities,” said Andrew Wiemer, director of the UM Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development. “The delegates will have an opportunity to exchange innovative ideas on how to effect social change.”
As part of the weekend’s activities, student delegates will participate in a service event sponsored by Clean the World, an Orlando-based nonprofit committed to preventing millions of deaths caused by hygiene-related illnesses every day. Delegates will create hygiene kits that will be donated to the Chapman Partnership, a local organization dedicated to empowering the homeless. CEO Shawn Seipler will speak at the event about Clean the World’s mission and steps students can take to make a difference.
“The weekend will highlight what the social climate of the 21st century looks like,” said Justin Borroto, co-chair of the symposium’s planning committee. “Student leaders will learn how to navigate this environment in order to effect change in the world. I hope that participants will take what they’ve learned and be empowered to make their communities a better place.”
Each institution can bring up to five students and one advisor to the symposium. The University of Miami’s student delegates are Joshua Myers (Clarksburg, Maryland), William Patrick Quinlan (Miami, Florida), Renée Reneau (St. Augustine, Florida), Martina Sandoval-Iriarte (Guatemala) and Ishtpreet Singh (Rochester, Minnesota).
Visit the ACC Leadership Symposium website for a full list of participating institutions. For additional information, contact Andrew Wiemer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-284-4483.
Megan Ondrizek can be reached at 305-284-3667.