Office of Student Life moves forward with ‘ReIgnite’ program


Courtesy / GVSU

Lauren Formosa, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University’s Office of Student Life is moving forward with their plans to hold “ReIgnite,” the official group training and resource program for members of student organizations’ executive boards.

The event will be held in two sessions, the first on Jan. 14, and the second on Jan. 24. The Office of Student Life requires at least one executive board (eboard) member of each student organization to attend the program, not including club sports or graduate organizations.

ReIgnite’s program includes five different interactive workshops student leaders can attend, such as finance and funding, event planning, officer transitions, on-campus volunteering and leadership skills. 

Brianna Slager, Assistant Director of Student Organizations, said based on feedback from fall semester’s Ignite program, the Office of Student Life has made adjustments to better fit the needs of its students.      

“We got a ton of feedback on doing more presentations that were specific to operations of student organizations and what they’re handling,” Slager said. “We’ve noticed, due to the pandemic, that a lot of our student leaders have not traveled, they have not had a fundraiser on campus and there’s this gap of knowledge of what the Office of Student Life can provide and help them with and what they have access to.”

Although ReIgnite has been moved to a virtual format due to COVID-19 restrictions, Slager and the Office of Student Life are still working to make the workshops as interactive and engaging as possible for student leaders. 

The Office of Student Life is encouraging any and all eboard members to attend and get involved with the ReIgnite workshops, especially now that the event has moved online and can host more attendees. During the session, student leaders will be able to rotate into different breakout rooms for each workshop.

While student leaders can expect to gain information such as how to properly fill out funding forms, they can also expect to connect and network with other student organizations.    

“Looking at it from a student development perspective, having that connection piece is so important to see that there are other students on campus that are going through the same thing as me, that are trying to plan events, that are trying to find funding to go to this conference or try to find different things,” Slager said. 

Slager said she is hoping to get constructive feedback from ReIgnite attendees about how the program can evolve and better suit student organizations’ needs next year. 

“Moving forward, we are trying to make ReIgnite more relationship-based and connection-based,” Slager said. “We know how important student orgs are to campus, they’re the light that makes our campus so vibrant.” 

While ReIgnite does focus on communication, networking and other important leadership skills, Slager wants attendees to understand just how important of a resource the Office of Student Life can be for student organizations. 

“I tabled the week before exams and just talking to students, I realized a large amount didn’t understand what student life does and how we want to help the student organizations whether it’s planning events, or helping them navigate different conflicts, or resolve different travel things and just trying to give back as much as possible,” Slager said. 

Slager said the office wants to help student organizations, but can’t if they don’t have a relationship with them. 

“We want to give the funding, we want to do all these things, but if we’re not in the loop it’s kind of hard to do that,” Slager said. “So I really hope they see this as an open door and that the Office of Student Life is here to support them.”

Students must pre-register to represent their organization through the ReIgnite website, where they can rank which workshops they are most interested in during the RSVP process. Students can visit the Office of Student Life’s Ignite website for more information and ways to register for ReIgnite.