By Obed Manuel
Daniel Marold, Student Government Association president, attended the American Student Association of Community Colleges’ student leadership conference Nov. 11-13 in Nashville, Tenn. This was the first such event since Marold was elected student president of ASACC.
Marold was accompanied by Yasaman Contractor, assistant director of the Office of Student Life and SGA adviser, and Lance Vance, SGA vice president.
While at the conference, Marold and Vance participated in a community service project. Vance said they visited several schools in the Nashville area with participating community college students from around the country and planted 50 or so trees for beautification purposes.
Students who attended the conference were presented with the opportunity to be certified by the Leadership Education Advocacy Planning and Service program and engage in seminars on how to handle conflict resolution in their local SGAs.
Vance said he thought the LEAPS training he received will be of much help to him in the coming months.
The three-day conference featured speakers from around the country, including SGA advisers, student life office directors and inspirational speakers. The keynote speakers were Dr. Earl Paul, professor at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla., Dr. Bob Rasmussen, dean of students at Utah Valley University, and Dr. Will Keim, motivational speaker.
According to Marold, the main points of discussion throughout the conference focused on the threat to Pell grant funding and aid for veterans in Florida who have to pay out-of-state tuition rates at community colleges.
Marold said he was designated as master of ceremonies for the event and gave an opening address.
“We were there to give the students a leadership experience we hope they will not forget,” Marold said.
Students took part in roundtable discussions in which they discussed the five biggest problems facing their regional SGAs. According to Marold, the students were able to recognize the five biggest problems facing student government organizations throughout the nation.
Vance said it was his first trip out of the state with the SGA.
“It was a blast,” Vance said. “I really had a great time, and I learned a great deal of information.”
The conference was a precursor to ASACC’s conference in spring, the National Student Advocacy Conference, which will be held in Washington, D.C.
Marold said being back at an ASACC conference as national student president is something he will always remember.
“It felt great,” Marold said. “I felt like a motivational speaker in front of all those students.”