LLC program sponsors retreat

The Living Learning Communities program sponsored a retreat to Outdoor Wilderness Learning Center on Saturday, Feb. 23.The students participated in activities such as the Circle Name Game, Bull Ring, Help Triangle, Spider Web, and Mountain Top.

Claire Lewis, director of the program, said, the retreat was designed to get the students to bond with each other and the LLC facult y.

“Today, we wanted to get the students out of the classroom with the faculty to help them work on skills such as communication, critical thinking and team building. Also, we wanted them to learn to trust each other,” said Lewis.

CIS major Malcolm Jackson said that at the retreat he was able to enhance his leadership skills and really learn about teamwork. “I enjoyed going through different obstacles that took a team effort, not individuality.”

Andrew Smith, a California native and psychology major, said, “Today I thought of this outdoor experience as a time where all the Living Learning students and faculty could finally get together and interact outside of the classroom. We got a chance to see how they act outside of the classroom and what we can learn while we are not doing work. Also, we learned about teamwork.”

Brittany Segura, like the other students, found the retreat to be beneficial.

“I enjoyed the teamwork activities the most because I was able to network with a lot of people I normally wouldn’t, and I gained more trust and respect for my peers,” she said.

Another student who enjoyed the retreat was Monroe native Jessica Menyweather. The biology major said, “Today I enjoyed the balance beam group activity the most. I really learned about team work.”

A large amount of international students also participate in the LLC. One such student is Abigail Jn. Pierre, a psychology major who is from Vieux – Fort, St. Lucia.

She said of the retreat, “The outdoor group activities were a lot of fun, especially the team work to achieve the goals.”

Nigel George, a freshman accounting major from Dominica, West Indies, said that she made new friends at the retreat and had fun. “Today was exciting. We learned the importance of teamwork, a positive attitude, and, most importantly, trust.”

“I look forward to other activities such as this. I believe it is beneficial to all those involved,” she said.

Like the students, the faculty also had a great time. Melanie C. Thomas, who serves as one of the LLC English faculty and has been with the program since its inception said, “I really had a great time today. It was fun interacting with the students and participating in some of the activities.”

“This retreat was a great idea. I saw, firsthand, how the students were able to bond with one another and get to know each other. Most importantly, they had fun while learning life skills,” she said

Faculty member Yaemin Ocal said, “I like this retreat. It was really fun. It was good for the students. I observed them bonding,” she said.

“Activities like this can help us be more efficient and help our students to be able to adapt to any environment,” said Ocal, who teaches LLC students Fundaments of Business (GB 150).

Other faculty members who were present at the retreat were Beatrice McKinney, English and Charles Humphrey, psychology.

The students had a good time while they learned invaluable lessons and skills. Chicago native and business major Marquetta Childress, said, “I enjoyed myself 10 times more than I expected to. I learned to be more open-minded, team building skills and to trust others. I am looking forward to more exercises with the Living Learning Communities.”

Lewis said, “The environment was perfect. We wanted to give the students a chance to relax before midterm week.”

Many students joined the LLC to get assistance with classwork and meet people.

“This program gives me extra help with my homework and allows me to interact with different students,” said Jackson.

Menyweather said that her advisor told her about the LLC because she thought that it would be helpful to her during her freshman year.

“I joined the group after my friend told me that this program really helps freshmen to get acquainted and get into the best classes,” said Jn. Pierre.