‘InterSECTIONS’ to be held over fall break

This weekend, SMU Student Senate, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and the Community Engagement and Leadership Center will give students “a break from the ordinary” in the inaugural Mustang InterSECTIONS retreat.

Mustang InterSECTIONS will consist of activities and discussions that revolve around leadership and diversity.

Mustang InterSECTIONS, held at the Sky Ranch Retreat Center, hopes to tackle issues such as identity exploration, recognizing and battling bias, oppression and the development of advocacy skills.

Offered at no cost to students or staff, the weekend retreat will provide an environment that allows them to “foster inclusivity and a deeper understanding of diversity,” said Creston Lynch, director of Multicultural Student Affairs.

“We will be taking students through a variety of activities and discussions [to help] them explore their own backgrounds and experiences, and how that shapes their worldview and interactions with others,” said Community Engagement and Leadership Director Stephanie Howeth.

According to Howeth, roughly 40 students are expected to attend, ranging from first-year to graduate students.

Howeth explained that the retreat will focus on student development through diversity and leadership for a social change. “This is the first time we’ve looked specifically at the InterSECTIONS of diversity and leadership within this framework,” Howeth said.

Howeth and Lynch started planning Mustang InterSECTIONS in early summer, when they saw an opportunity to work with another Student Affairs organization in hopes of challenging students to think differently about leadership at SMU. The collaboration of these two campus organizations is thus the ideal way to target a wide range of students and “get more people involved in conversations about leadership and diversity,” Lynch said. Howeth hopes that the students who participate in Mustang InterSECTIONS will walk away with tangible skills to manage conflict, build coalitions with those of different backgrounds, and address potential issues of bias, prejudice and hate on campus.

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