Editor’s Note: University News works regularly with colleagues at RIT’s campuses in Croatia, Dubai and Kosovo. Here is an account of the recent RIT Student Governments’ Consortium held at the campus in Zagreb, Croatia, by Alice Almer, marketing and communications director, RIT Croatia.
RIT is characterized by a global and multicultural spirit, which is reflected in the cooperation between students from all five campuses (Henrietta, Kosovo, Dubai, as well as Dubrovnik and Zagreb in Croatia). One such example is the consortium of RIT’s student governments, which takes place on a different campus each year. This year’s event was held in Zagreb from Jan. 7-9. More than 30 students and RIT representatives from all the campuses visited the Croatian capital.
The main goal was to share thoughts and ideas on the student experience, as well as exchange best practices from each campus, with a purpose to continually upgrade student life at RIT.
“The objective was to establish an even better cooperation among campuses, that is to better utilize all resources made available to us by RIT,” said Mirna Sorajić, president of the Croatian Student Government. “I’m still fascinated with the fact that I belong to an amazing university that counts over 18,000 students worldwide. Also, as a student representative, I am able to make a change and contribute to overall efforts of improving the student life at RIT.”
Organizing the consortium was a great experience for the Croatian students, serving as the host nation.
“The experience of representing not only your campus, but your country as well, is so valuable and really hard to explain,” said Una Pašić, vice president of Student Government at RIT Croatia. “We presented our structures and bylaws of each student government, and tried to select the best practices in order to better what we do. Some of the next steps include using useful websites and applications at our disposal thanks to the U.S. campus.”
RIT Student Government President Ashley Carrington and Vice President Tyler Pierce represented Rochester during the winter intersession.
“We were very specific about the type of support we could expect from each other and give to one another and include other students,” said Pierce. “One thing we will definitely do is an annual event for all students at which we will promote different cultures and activities from all campuses in order to bring it closer to the overall student community.”
Said Carrington: “The trip and the consortium exceeded all expectations. Not only did we come up with ideas that we plan to implement soon, but also we became real good friends in just 3 days! Zagreb is a beautiful city and the memories I carry from Croatia include beautiful people, the culture and the university that enabled me to visit this place and have this experience.”
Anthony Ghanime, representing RIT Dubai, was moved by the experience. “I think that every student is proud of his or her university in a way. However, when you attend a university that is proud of its students and continuously shows that… Well, that’s rare. And that’s why I love this university. Participating in the Zagreb consortium only made me more aware of the responsibilities I have as Dubai students’ representative. We worked really hard, but had tons of fun as well. It was phenomenal.”
RIT administrators, including Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Sandra Johnson and Dawn Soufleris, associate vice president of Student Affairs, also presented at the consortium, including a talk about the Millennial generation. The next annual consortium takes place in the “States,” a.k.a. Henrietta.