Dylan Widger

Students discuss "Combating Campus Apathy" during the Student Leadership Summit at the Nebraska Union on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln gathered at the Nebraska Union on Sept. 18 to network, collaborate and get empowered to make a difference on campus.

The Association of Students of the University of Nebraska held the Student Leadership Summit so students could participate in breakout sessions about mental health, sexual misconduct, civil discourse and inclusion and fighting campus apathy to help people invest in UNL. Approximately 70 students attended the event.

According to ASUN internal vice president Emily Johnson, the goal of the event was to lead discussions among campus leaders to help them impact the university.

“The idea is just to let students talk,” Johnson said. “They’ll have some guiding questions about how this issue fits into campus, what it has to do with their organization…the conversation is really going to be how the students want to structure it and what they want to talk about.”

Students chose to attend two of the four breakout sessions, where the discussions were facilitated by ASUN members. According to Johnson, ASUN chose the discussion topics because they believed the topics are prevalent on campus.

Johnson said she hopes members will impact their organizations through the discussions they had and the lessons they learned at the event.

Members of Alpha Gamma Sigma Micah Most and Nicholas Taylor attended the event to learn how to engage more members of their organizations.  

“I’m really excited about the campus apathy one,” Taylor said. “We’ve been talking about that one quite a bit to see how people can get more engaged on campus and start a fire underneath them.”

Vice president of the Minority Pre-Health Association Jada Loro said he came to the event to meet other campus leaders.

“Even though your major is this and you’re in this club or your interest is this and you’re in this club, [we’re] still a university together,” Loro said. “You can take those interests and do something to impact this place.”

After attending the mental health breakout session, Transfer Assistance Community member Joshua Gable said it was interesting to learn about how different organizations solved their problems.  

“It’s like a melting pot of different points of views,” Gable said. “People tackle different problems, or the same problem, from different points of view. ”

Freshman chemical engineering major Brittani Wacker came to the event as a part of a requirement for the University Honors Program.

“I am getting a lot more out of it than I expected,” Wacker said. “To hear some people’s concerns that I didn’t even know existed was truly eye-opening.”

ASUN president Hunter Traynor said the conversations raised at the event could help ASUN and other organizations make a difference on campus.

“I’m blown away by it,” Traynor said. “The different organizations represented are pretty immense. I can’t be more excited. I think this is a very good sign for the future of collaborative efforts at UNL. I hope the student body can continue to push in the right direction.”