by VADA ABRAHAMSON
258 Drake students gathered in Olmsted Center on Oct. 27 to attend the Richard & Lila Sussman Leadership Conference. The conference ran from 11-3 p.m, featured keynote speaker Dr. Tim Bono, and three breakout sessions covering comparison, business and sleep. The sessions were centered around the theme of “Down with Drake Busy.”
The conference began in Parent’s Hall where students were provided with a meal before the keynote speaker was introduced.
Kristin Economos, director of student leadership programs at Drake, began the conference by welcoming the attendants and introducing the keynote speaker. Economos runs the Donald V. Adams Leadership Institute, the organization that put on the event.
“This is the largest group we have had in the last five years,” said Economos.
Students involved in Adams were required to attend, along with resident assistants and students enrolled in specific courses. Some students chose to attend the conference for their own personal benefit.
In his speech, Bono, a faculty member in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Washington University, gave students three steps to shift from Drake busy to Drake balanced: manage your energy, manage your attention and manage your connection.
“Effective leaders don’t aim to be busy; they aim to be balanced,” said Bono.
These three steps to becoming more balanced carried through into the next three 30-minute sessions students attended.
Danielle Green, Karla Mracek and Amber Wilkins, faculty members at Drake’s Counseling Center, led the “Comparison Trap” session.
Mracek outlined the true meaning of boundaries, what they are, what they are not and why they are critical. Boundaries with cell phones were also given, and resources like the book “How to Break up With Your Phone” by Catherine Price were mentioned for students.
Tony Tyler, assistant dean of students and Josh Wallace, academic success and retention specialist lead the second session on “Dismantling Drake Busy.”
“You can’t be a hundred percent academically if you aren’t a hundred percent personally,” said Wallace.
During this session, many students expressed that this issue should be brought up to professors. As staff members, Tyler and Wallace admit to recognizing this in the staff and students.
“I truly believe to combat the Drake busy and promote the Drake balance, professors need the same vision we are receiving from the university,” said Rachel Stafford, a junior at Drake who attended the conference.
Bono spoke at one of the sessions “The (Will) Power of Sleep.” In this session, the definition of will power and different stages of sleep were explained.
Many students spoke amongst their tables wondering if naps would be mentioned. Bono informed students that a nap should only last 20 minutes or at least 90 minutes, nothing in between.
“An all-nighter is the worst thing you can do for yourself,” Bono said.
The conference closed with a farewell from Bono, highlighting the key points from his speech and each session. Two VIP seats to the Bucksbaum Lecture were given away at the end of the conference.