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Leadership Institute Director gives 2021 Leadership Safari, IMPACT update


Last year's Leadership Safari had no trust falls, comedy shows, Playfair or group bonding thanks to COVID-19. This year will see a slight return to normalcy.

According to the Leadership Institute website, Leadership Safari 2021 will be a three-day guided experience designed to welcome new freshmen and transfer students to CMU. During the conference, each group will complete a challenge course, hear from nationally-known speakers, and engage in dialogue about leadership.

Assistant Director of the Leadership Institute, Jonathan Glenn, said the event will be held from Aug. 25 to Aug. 27. In addition to the Leadership Safari, Impact is being held two days prior, on Aug. 23 and 24. 

CMU is not making it a requirement for incoming students to be fully vaccinated if they choose to attend. Glenn said that Leadership Safari may be smaller this year, both due to budget constraints and COVID-19 protocols. However, he assures this year's event will still be full of activities. 

"We've made our challenge course more COVID safe. We're trying to get some entertainment, like some slam poetry. We're trying to get speakers, we are still hoping to have an amazing farewell dinner/carnival type of day for the last day," Glenn said.

Glenn said that he hopes as many of these activities can be as in-person as possible, but that those details could change depending on COVID-19 health and safety guidelines yet to come.

1200 is the maximum amount of students allowed to participate in order to safely use the proposed facilities. That number does not include student and faculty volunteer staff.

However, Glenn said the Leadership Institute is still determining where the on-campus Leadership Safari will be held.

"We've put out some proposals to use our athletic spaces. So possibly the football field or McGurk arena," Glenn said.

There are almost 250 people participating in the volunteer staff according to Glenn. Staff applications are closed for 2021, but Glenn encourages anyone interested to apply for staff in 2022. 

Applications for Leadership Safari open in May, and can be found on the Leadership Institute website. 

"This is a great opportunity for students here at Central Michigan to spread their wings and learn their leadership style. It's also a great opportunity for current students to support the incoming students and to help them feel at home."