Panther GOLD

Developing Leadership at Panther G.O.L.D.

The sun shined down over a large field, surrounded by miles and miles of forest at Camp Kon-O-Kwee. This rural setting, an hour north of Pitt’s campus, allows student leaders to get away from the buzz of Welcome Week and focus on the new year ahead. The annual Panther G.O.L.D. is a two-day retreat hosted by the Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development (CCLD) in partnership with Student Government Board (SGB). The gathering marks a new beginning for students and their organizations.
 
Turnover in leadership is a challenge that student organizations face each year. This retreat is a chance to share best practices, learn from Pitt staff, and make lasting connections with other leaders. SGB President, Zechariah Brown, welcomed students to the retreat Friday morning and introduced vice provost and dean of students Kenyon Bonner. Dean Bonner emphasized the importance of meeting with students in-person. The two-way conversation tackled many topics important to students, such as sustainability and campus safety.
 
The retreat continued with a variety of presentations from staff members on subjects from counseling and suicide prevention to sharing your student organization’s stories. There was plenty of time to build relationships with other leaders as well. Making s’mores and enjoying the outdoors was a perfect setting to bring everyone together. Students and staff alike left the retreat refreshed and determined to make this an impactful year. It was clear to see how passionate these leaders are about improving the campus and their willingness to work with the University to make significant progress. Because at Pitt, progress is always in motion.
 
By: Adam Gaus