The Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups (FSILG) Office sponsored a retreat for new leaders at MIT’s Endicott House in Dedham, MA, on Saturday, February 4. Present were leaders from the Interfraternity Council (IFC), Panhellenic Council (Panhel), and Living Group Council (LGC), as well as members of the Association of Independent Living Groups (AILG). More than 40 students attended, representing upwards of 30 organizations. The retreat offered student leaders an opportunity to connect with members of the FSILG Office, the AILG Board (made up of FSILG alumni from MIT), and fellow leaders within the FSILG community.
Sorority leaders gather during a breakout session.
Small group discussions made for lively conversation and idea sharing throughout the day.
After an ice-breaker exercise that paired FSILG members with others they didn’t know on the ride to Dedham, Brad Badgley, associate dean and director of FSILGs, Liz Jason, assistant director of FSILGs and Kayla Lemay, coordinator of FSILGs, kicked off the event by presenting the FSILG Office’s annual goals. The retreat’s overall intention was to help FSILG leaders find common ground and build unity among the organizations as a whole. Also, they underscored the office’s role in supporting the leaders’ vision and goals, and the importance of organizations engaging with the office to promote community cohesion. Additional activities helped students on leadership councils to connect with each other and AILG members, and to identify and create goals for their specific leadership positions.
Based on feedback gathered over the previous year from students, alumni, and staff, the FSILG Office’s goals are:
- Help develop goals for individual FSILGs;
- Transition officers effectively;
- Develop an additional opportunity for emerging FSILG leaders to gain practical leadership experience
- Identify annual organizational/chapter development goals;
- Engage in an ongoing review process; and
- Strengthen FSILG risk management protocols.
AILG Board members Pam Gannon ‘84 and Akil Middleton ‘08, along with DSL Staffer Bob Ferrara ‘67, respond to questions from students regarding alumni involvement.
Pam Gannon ‘84 and Akil Middleton ’08 from the AILG Board presented on the AILG’s role within the community. They explained that the AILG is the umbrella organization for all FSILG alumni groups at MIT, and their principle roles are to help with accreditation, facilitate inspections, form committees, find support for facilities upgrades, and grow alumni involvement in the FSILG community.
A new community member in attendance was Judy Robinson, senior associate dean of residential education in the Division of Student Life. This past year, oversight of the FSILG Office was added to her extensive responsibilities, and she was impressed by the day’s activities. “The FSILG leadership retreat provided a unique opportunity for student leaders from different organizations to reflect on and discuss their hopes and plans for the year ahead,” she said, “not just for their particular organizations, but for the system overall.” Robinson observed that seeing the current leaders’ engagement, enthusiasm, and genuine care for the FSILG experience was “wonderful.” She added, “They certainly laid down a great foundation for reaching this year’s goals, and will set an example for emerging leaders."
A group photo taken in the Endicott House foyer at the conclusion of the event.
With positive feedback on this year’s event, the FSILG Office intends to make the retreat an annual event for late February, toward the end of MIT’s Independent Activities Period. Badgley added, “Keep an eye out for dates to be released and make sure to mark this weekend on organizations’ calendars for the future.” The FSILG Office extend their thanks to everyone who participated. “It made the event engaging, and a great success,” Badgley said. For more information, visit the FSILG Office Website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.