New organization offers leadership conference

By Grant Miller

NIU has a new student-run organization on campus. The NIU Student Leadership Development Board has been established to mold NIU and area high school students into future leaders of America.

The first project of the new organization is a leadership conference being held on Oct. 9. The conference will involve faculty, NIU students and area high school students participating in various workshops.

Chicago Bears motivational speaker, John Cassis, will be the keynote speaker at the weekend conference.

“John Cassis is being sponsored by the Student Association, so his speech will be open to everyone,” said Student Leadership Board President Anna Bicanic.

Topics at the conference will range from time management to organizational skills and communication between membership and organizations. Four high schools have already agreed to participate in the conference.

“We are having college students conduct workshops for high school students,” Bicanic said.

The initial reaction from NIU faculty has been positive. “They have been really enthusiastic,” Bicanic said. “Everyone is really excited about this.”

“The reaction from the university has been overwhelming,” Board Treasurer Steven Pryor said.

The idea came about last year and is based on a similar organization at Western Illinois University. “I was asked if I would be interested in such an organization,” Bicanic said. “I definitely wanted to be a part of it.”

Finding people who were interested in working on the project was difficult at first, Bicanic said. “Many of the people that we thought would be good for this organization were already involved with other organizations.”

“Our priority this year was to get people who had a lot of experience in leadership,” she added.

Bicanic has far-reaching goals for the new organization. “We are trying to include the entire campus,” she said. “People who have different backgrounds, so that we can reach out to different communities,” she added. “So far things have been running very smoothly.”

“The reaction from the university has been overwhelming.”