First Spring Leadership Safari to take place next month

Macomb junior Kellie Hoeing cheers on Leadership Safari participants during a presentation by David Coleman on Aug. 20 in Finch Fieldhouse.

The first-ever Spring Leadership Safari aims to promote personal growth during a two-day event geared towards deferred freshmen and transfer students. 

The event is a condensed version of the August Leadership Safari and is for students arriving in the new year. It will feature a volunteer staff of about 24 students and an attendance goal of 50-100 participants.

This is far fewer than the 2,050 students who moved into Central Michigan University for Leadership Safari in late August. 

The event will take place Jan. 6-7 for a $50 participation cost. Registration closes the evening before. 

Students can register on the CMU Leadership Safari webpage. 

Stephenson junior Jillian Pumphrey, who will be a Safari Guide for Team Walrus, said she will lead a group of seven-to-10 participants. 

“We will do team bonding and a lot of the same activities from Fall Safari,” Pumphrey said. “It is my duty, and all those involved in Safari and on campus, to welcome incoming students to CMU and to make them feel as though they belong here and have people to depend on.” 

It will feature the same obstacle courses traditionally used in the fall to promote teamwork and leadership advancement. 

Educational leadership speaker Michael Miller and slam poet Ebony Stewart also will return to campus after attending the fall event for almost two decades. 

Registration is also available to freshmen and other first-year students who did not attend the Leadership Safari in August. 

Spring Leadership Safari had been discussed within the Sarah R. Opperman Leadership Institute for a number of years, said Royal Oak junior Harrison Watts. 

“We hear from a lot of transfer students wishing they could have attended Safari when they first got here,” he said. Watts said some of them come onboard as staff and are amazed by the relationships and character growth developed.

Trenton sophomore Jenna Perugi will be guiding Team Narwhal and said Safari was vital to her success.

“I know I would not have had the same experience at Central if I hadn’t been a participant. It created a place to create bonds with people I would have never gotten to (come across) otherwise,” she said, explaining participation has sprouted a genuine devotion to the program. 

Resources showcased will include the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center, Study Abroad, Business Student Services and a brief introduction to the Registered Student Organization (RSO) community.  

Watts said the program is expecting an older age group, with ages ranging from early to late 20s.

Perugi hopes to connect with demographics much different from those in the fall. 

“Transfer students have already attended college classes before and have matured more than first time freshmen,” Perugi said. “I am nervous about being younger than the majority of my participants and I’m most excited to get to be a part of safari again.”  


About Samantha Shriber

Samantha Shriber is a staff reporter at Central Michigan Life and is a Saint Clair Shores ...

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