Student Activities Office Transitions to Student Leadership and Development Office

Juan Gonzalez, Distribution Manager


For students, a new school year comes with new faces and new changes. The Student Leadership and Development (SLD) office also experiences the same changes we face.
This year, not only have they gone from being the Student Activities office to the new Student Leadership and Development office, but they have also had several administrative changes: Sharron Evans, formerly the Director of Student Activities Office (SAO), has now moved to another department al- lowing for Veronica Rodriguez, former Assistant Director, to take her place, and Ian T. Stroud to take Veronica’s position as Assistant Director. Tina Garcia (NEIU alumni and previous Intern for the SLD office) holds Stroud’s previous position as Coordinator for the SLD office.
With a change of leadership comes a new perspective and a new agenda. New Assistant Director for the SLD office Stroud stated that with the new school year beginning, the office is working hard at rebranding itself under a new name as well as a stronger more solidified office. Stroud was then asked about some exciting events students should look forward to, at which point he began to describe Chicago Live. Chicago Live, an event originally conducted by the SAO, is now being renamed the Discovery Series. “Chicago Live used to be for incoming freshman and what it was, was a trip which was based off of a class’s curriculum,” Stroud said. “For instance, if [English Professor] Dr. Poll was teaching a class on a certain author, and some play ensemble was putting on a play about said author’s work, then we would work with the professor to get him the tickets to take his students to see it.” Stroud stressed how the Discovery Series is “purely educational” explaining how this year they were opening it up for all students and the SLD office is offering a total of six Discovery Series.
He explained the office’s plan to hold a Tunnel of Oppression. Ac- cording to Stroud, the event would be a social justice event which could be on an oppressed race, gender, or sexuality, and throughout this event, the office’s intent is to educate students who decide to enter the “tunnel” and open their eyes on certain issues which they may not know exists. Stroud emphasized however, that to get the event off the ground, the office needs to put together a committee, and the committee, consisting of faculty, staff and student organization members, would be in charge of putting together the event which would be both “passive and engaging.”
Another thing which the office wants to do this year is to expand the Spectrum Retreat. Stroud explained how the students wanted the annual retreat to be longer, versus one day. “We want to expand it from that Friday to Sun- day, because that is what students wanted.” Stroud shared his hopes for this upcoming school year. “We want to remain consistent, and to surpass what we did last year. I’m really excited to be working with Veronica and Tina again this year, but I am even more excited for the new office, which will now be a couple doors down, versus on the second floor of the Student Union.” He ended his interview with these following words: “We had a strong leader in Sharron [Evans], and we have another strong leader in Veronica [Rodriguez].”
SLD Coordinator Tina Garcia talked about some of the same up- coming events mentioned by Stroud but further added that events would reflect student leadership and allow students to be “reflective.” Garcia also stated that students should keep their eyes and ears open for the Northeastern Programming Board. And so, with a new staff and office changes, students should look forward to a ton of new events and new opportunities to get involved on campus this school year.