Student leaders learn lessons

The Leadership Council members used role-playing to practice how to deal with conflict situations at the last meeting in September.

Mental health counselor Jenna Howard taught the student leaders how to assess a situation in which another person might be at risk of harm, be that physical, emotional or mental.

Howard offered techniques to help directly, indirectly or in a group environment.

For example, one could help directly by introducing oneself directly to the individual that may be causing the situation to escalate. Indirect action could involve calling the local police, or by calling upon the people around the scene to help. A group environment would ideally be the optimal situation, for groups can overpower individuals.

“Is someone at risk of harm? Consider all possible options. Do I intervene? Is this safe for me?” Howard said these are questions a concerned bystander should ask before intervening in a crisis.


Tell others about the situation at hand once these questions have been answered. Groups, more so than individuals, tend to intimidate those that are trying to cause a public conflict situation.

Erin Logan, director of student relations, divided the council into small groups in order to analyze and assess different scenarios depicting a person in need. These exercises gave the students experience in handling difficult life situations.

One example consisted of an obvious stranger approaching a woman awaiting her friend’s arrival at a restaurant. If a conflict arises from this situation and is witnessed, contacting the restaurant manager would be an excellent solution.

“We want the meetings this semester to have training to help the student leaders work on some different areas,” said Cadmus Sorrell, TLC chair.

Morgan Miller, College Republicans representative, said he joined TLC because of the positive impact he can have on the student body.

“I really value relationships with other people, and using those relationships to make the world a better place,” Miller said. “The student council is the pragmatic way of getting that accomplished.”

The main purpose for the TLC is to share information with the student leaders on campus. The council has representatives from all the campus clubs, plus a number of at-large representatives. It falls under the supervision of the vice president of enrollment and student services, Sorrell said.

TLC meetings are held on Thursdays in College Union room 1. This semester’s remaining meetings will be held on Oct. 27, Nov. 10, and Dec. 1. TLC meetings are open to all students and faculty of OCCC.


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