Summit develops student leadership skills

Zoey Tsang

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The Student Development Services (SDS) of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) held the first Leadership Summit for student leaders to help develop student leadership skills and enhance the quality of student activities. The first Leadership Summit was held on 21 February and it is hoped it will become an annual event. Sixty present and former student leaders were invited to the summit, where they upgraded their leadership skills, compared notes and learned from each other during various activities.

The summit began with a workshop in which SDS invited specialists to lecture on social etiquette, communication skills and effective teamwork. Professor Way Kuo, the President of CityU, visited the students at the workshop. “The focal point of the future development of CityU, apart from academic contributions to society, is to turn students into talented people with professional knowledge and moral integrity. You should not belittle what you’ve achieved. As student leaders today, you’ll probably be the social leaders of tomorrow.”

After the workshop came to a successful conclusion, SDS held a high table dinner attended by Mr Andrew Fan Ka-fai, an outstanding alumnus and President of the Greater China Region for Nu Skin Enterprises, and seven other alumni who had served as either Chairmen or Vice-chairmen of the Students’ Union of CityU. They shared their first-hand experience as leaders.

Professor Paul Lam Kwan-sing, Vice-President (Student Affairs) of CityU, pointed out in his address that student leaders should be role models in the student community. “We hope our students are more than just professionals. They should become talents with creative ideas, moral integrity, commitment, social responsibility and international vision. All these qualities can be cultivated through extracurricular activities.”

Mr Fan, currently based in Shanghai, returned to Hong Kong specifically to attend the summit. He gave a lecture entitled “Student leaders and campus culture”.

“An outstanding student leader should satisfy five essential requirements: keep a long-cherished dream, make a detailed plan, set a clear goal, have firm conviction and set an example by one’s conduct. A student leader should not only be an independent thinker, but also assume responsibility for fellow students and society as a whole,” he said. Mr Fan argued that culture is the expression of collective behaviour. As student leaders, they should take the lead in fostering a new campus culture at CityU.

Concerned with the development of student activities and the training of student leaders, Mr Fan recently established two scholarships for student leaders. They are the “Top outstanding CityU student leader awards” and “Academic improvement awards for CityU student leaders”.

At the high table dinner, Billy Li On-yin, President of Students’ Union of CityU, talked about his experience as a student leader. He revealed a secret - he had tried several times to organise a student organisation but failed each time. With perseverance, confidence and sustained effort, he finally set up the Executive Committee of the Students’ Union. Expressing his opinion about leaders, he said leaders ought to bring hope to people. “Aided financially by the Government, we are able to study at a university,” Billy said. “As a result, society pins its hopes on us. I hope all the students will cherish the opportunity of studying at CityU and repay society in the future.”

Ted Chung Chun-tak, a Year 1 student, and Issac Yeung Chi-hin, a Year 3 student, were participants of the Leadership Summit. Ted is the President of the 16th Physics and Materials Science Society of CityU Students’ Union. It was the first time he had received leadership training of this kind. “I’ve heard a lot about being a student leader, but I don’t know what exactly I have to do as a leader and I’ve learned many practical skills from others,” Ted said.

Issac is President of the 14th Rotaract of CityU and has gained much practical leadership experience in the past two years. This activity provided him with an opportunity for self-examination. “Training of this kind helped me examine my previous performance as a student leader and discover that there is still room for improvement. In the meantime, this will better prepare me for my career after graduation.”

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