MNSU hosts 6th annual U-Lead Conference

Thomas Bowman
Staff Writer

The sixth annual U-Lead Conference took place on Tuesday. 

The annual U-Lead Conference has become one of the largest leadership development opportunities for students on campus. It also involves more student groups as collaborators than almost any other event. Some of the groups working with the event were Fraternity & Sorority Life, Student Events Team, Student Government, among others. 

Students were encouraged to meet and chat with other students and presenters. Attendees had the opportunity to check out two different breakout sessions from among 18 choices. 

Let’s face it, student leaders can be busy people. Trying to balance multiple roles – students, leaders, friends, employees and numerous other rolws. It is stressful and can weigh people down. Students need to be able to take care of themselves. The idea of the session was to help raise awareness and provide advice for just that. 

The session was run by Kyle Edwards, an MNSU student, who is also the president of Mental Health Mankato. He discussed how being a student leader, it is hard to have good time management. When students struggle managing their schedules it becomes simpler to deal with stress and sleep deprivation. Solutions of how to contain a better schedule were shared with the attendees of the session. 

In the session, the topic of healthy leadership played a big role. Healthy leadership pertains to a person’s full health, mental and physical. Edwards passionately spoke out on making sure we are being aware of other people’s mental health. 

“What kind of stigmas are we bringing by pressuring people into labels?” asked Edwards. 

After the breakout sessions, students were able to attend the keynote presentation. The keynote presentation was “Heart of a Leader”, presented by Bobby Audley.  

Audley is a nationally recognized team-building and group dynamics facilitator and speaker that is able to bring a group in through his ability to connect to life. Audley started his career working in higher education as a leadership specialist. 

The ideas presented in the keynote presentation discussed different ways to motivate oneself. 

“Leadership is not about title or position,” said Audley. “It is about how you make around you feel.” 

Energy is the attitude you initially bring to your team or organization. Energy is about creating a space for your teammates to thrive, create, and contribute in a meaningful way. 

The session helped define energy as it pertains to how you show up in the world, give the tools for building better relationships, and find a life balance that helps one to be their best in academics, professional and personal life. 

It is extremely insightful being able to understand how to be a good leader. How to work together, take care of others in a community, and taking care of yourself. 

If someone walked into that event, their walk turned into a confident stride on the way out.

Header photo: Keynote speaker Bobby Audley speaks to students during the sixth annual U-Lead Conference held in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019 in Mankato, Minn. (Jack Linell/MSU Reporter)

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