When you think of retreating, you think about people running away from their problems, right? When I think of retreating, I think about all the amazing times I have been able to attend retreats thanks to my participation in various USC groups and organizations. Yup, I did turn the noun “retreat” into a new-age verb: retreat-ing.
In my two years on campus so far I have gone on retreats to Malibu, Pasadena, Catalina — you name it! They have all been great and really connected me with the people I attended them with. Whether it was my Orientation Advisor weekend retreat or my Society 53 day retreat, I enjoyed them all because they gave me a chance to really get to know the people I work and interact with on campus. In my mind, there is no such thing as too many ice-breakers and bonding activities, so I basically live to retreat (in the new-age sense of the word, of course).
This past weekend, I attended what I think was my last retreat of the year (I mean, fingers crossed that there are more, but my iCal says otherwise). It was the 5th annual USC Multicultural Retreat, which was made possible by the Office of Campus Activities, the Redefining Engagement in Active Leadership (REAL) Project, Students Taking Action in the Name of Diversity (STAND), and Undergraduate Student Government Diversity Affairs. I am a REAL participant this year, and I was in charge of organizing, planning and facilitating the weekend’s activities. It was AMAZING! I got to meet so many inspirational students who signed up to attend, and it was truly an honor to help them start discussing diversity at USC.
That said, the theme of the retreat was “DiverSCity” (yours truly came up with that one, woohoo!). We talked about things like gender and sexuality, disability awareness, race and ethnicity, etc. It was great seeing that so many students at USC are ready and willing to discuss those kind of topics in depth — they aren’t always easy to talk about! I have so much respect for everyone who attended and am ready to continue the conversation back on campus.