Two Lindenwood Student Government students and one faculty member traveled to Washington, D.C., for the American Student Government Association’s National Student Government Summit in early October.
Hosted by the American Student Government Association, the National Student Government Summit is an annual conference that invites executive members and advisors of student government associations across the country to share ideas, receive training, and network with peers regarding all things involving student government.
Students participated in workshops centered around leadership development, student government effectiveness, new officer training, increasing voter turnout at school elections, how to advise or mentor team members, and more.
The four-day trip to the nation’s capital was the first for LSG Advisor Hunter Davis, who was thrilled with the overall experience of the summit.
“It was an amazing experience,” Davis said. “I received so many practical takeaways that were directly applicable to my role as an advisor for Lindenwood Student Government and the students that came had incredible things to say as well. ASGA built the schedule for the conference in a way that allowed for maximum learning, networking, and sightseeing. I’m looking forward to coming back in the future.”
Lindenwood junior Danel Smit, the LSG director of community outreach, was one of the students who went on the trip. After meeting with people from other universities, Smit took in a vast breadth of knowledge that he will take with him into the business world.
“I learned the true impact of how a proper website can influence the perception of our student government and how to effectively communicate changes with our student body,” Smit said. “I was able to share ideas with other universities about areas that they are struggling in because I realized that our student government has a great network of resources and that we are a good group of leaders who help each other. Student government already has a big impact on students, but I got to see the much deeper impact that it can have and how influential the voice of the students can be.”
Classmate Emelyn Smuszkiewicz is LSG vice president and attended the summit. Her biggest takeaway was gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of student government.
“I learned how to properly organize my time as to not overwhelm myself and was able to do a lot of brainstorming for potential projects to work on in the future,” Smuszkiewicz said. “I learned how other universities handle similar issues to what we handle and have already implemented some takeaways with regards to achieving a better election turnout.”
Through this four-day experience, both Smit and Smuszkiewicz learned more about the ins and outs of student government from networking with their peers. They also gained invaluable insight on incorporating new ideas and approaches to make student government better overall.