Student leaders from Rochester Institute of Technology’s campuses in Rochester, Croatia, Kosovo and the United Arab Emirates met in Dubai during the holiday break to discuss their strengths and challenges and how they can better work collaboratively.
“It was awesome,” said RIT Student Government President Farid Barquet, from Mexico City. “We were there meeting for three full days, and in those three days, we got a lot of work done. We managed to pack as much into the agenda as we could.”
Student leaders from each campus came with individual goals and then discussed global goals for all of RIT campuses.
“One major point was how we could be an international community instead of being isolated campuses,” Barquet said. “For example, one of our biggest goals is how we can foster student entrepreneurship on a global scale. If you’re starting a business in Rochester, how can you connect to other campuses to make it international? How can we facilitate that action? We’re definitely going to be working on that.”
Liz Vosburgh, a third-year marketing major from Clarence Center, N.Y., and Student Government’s director of student relations, called the experience “amazing.”
“I always thought every RIT campus ran the same, but it really opened my eyes,” she said. “We learned how we can help each other. And all the students were so nice. We all care about Student Government so much, and you could tell how much they all want to make an impact on their campuses. Now that we’ve met them, we really want to keep the momentum going. It was a really great experience.”
The group also found time to meet up with visiting students from RIT’s China campus, ride camels, watch a falcon show, ride dune buggies in the sand, eat some great food and visit the 160-story Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
Barquet said attendees will be meeting with RIT administrators and plan to finalize a summary of action items in February.