Undergraduate Student Government Association representatives and students of the campus community participated in the New Horizons Summit Sept. 13.
USGA and UNH students with guest speaker Robert Felder at New Horizons Summit (Photo by Annalisa Berardinelli /) Charger Bulletin Photo)
The Summit was sponsored by USGA, providing an opportunity for students to voice their opinions and ideas for creating a more cohesive campus community.
USGA’s motto this year is “Putting you in USGA,” so there were round table open discussion, where students were prompted with questions on how they thought USGA could better serve the campus, its students and “link the legislation.”
The Summit began in Ghering Hall with Richard Rotella, president of USGA, asking the audience what USGA ment to them.
When describing USGA in in one word, one student used the word, “network.” Other students voiced that USGA is the forum that connects students to the university.
“(We want to) bridge the gap between the senate and the house because together you are a powerful legislature,” said Rotella.
Colby Thammavongsa, vice president of operations, followed with saying in terms of moving forward, “a large part of today will be going on after,” meaning the concerns voiced must be put into action.
Next guest speaker, Robert Felder, had the sleepy audience up on their feet jumping in the air, “reaching the goals of USGA.”
“Life will continue to punch you until you punch back,” said Felder, who had the audience discuss possible factors that could hold USGA back from accomplishing thier goals.
Lack of membership interest, complacency, budgeting, and disagreements were a few of the barriers students mentioned, but Felder ensured that none of those factors meant we would be stopped from accomplishing our goals.
“You’re focusing on the problem instead of the goal,” said Felder. “For the things you have no control over, be like water: whatever it can’t go through, it goes around.”
In regards towards working together, he asked the audience how many thought they could solve problems on their own, and no hands were raised.
Felder painted a picture for the audience by saying “everyone wants to ride the sled down the hill, but no one wants to pull it back up; aka do the work.”
He further explained members of organizations have to find the reasons that make the organization leaders stay up all night and go to all the meetings, because that is who has found that “something,” and not even everyone who has come to the first, second, or even third meeting has found that yet.
Felder gave the audience two tips: common sense is only common sense when you have something in common and assume everyone you talk to is stupid.
Throughout his speach he used four rubber footballs to illustrate his point of working together. He had students throwing the ball back and forth, and when it dropped to the ground, he asked students what their first thought was and responses included “Way to go,” and “Who’s fault was it?”
This exercise was to get the audience to focus on goals instead of blame because “if you’re not on the team, you’re against the team,” said Felder.
Next, the audience broke up into eight groups to draw figures and place things that would help them inside the figure, and things that would hold them back on the outside.
Felder ended his motivational presentation, by asking the audience, “WHAT TIME IS IT?!” In which everyone responded, “GAME TIME!”
The Summit continued throughout the day at UNH’s Orange campus, where USGA met with the Graduate Student Council to brainstorm on unifying the two populations.
USGA representatives also held icebreakers and roundtable discussions to discuss committees, the legislature and innovative ways to become a better USGA.