Campus of Difference

A Campus of Difference. . .Finding Common Ground

The Annual Multicultural Student Leadership Retreat

Applications Due November 26, 2003 for the 6th Annual Retreat January 16-18 2004.

Pick up aps at the UMM Information Center, Minority Student Program Office, and Student Activities.

Retreat Group Photo
What a group! Multicultural Student Leadership Retreat
Scroll down for more retreat photos

The University of Minnesota Morris Multicultural Student Leadership Retreat is always a success! About 70 students, staff and faculty participate each year in the retreat held at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center in Fergus Falls, MN. The retreat site provides the perfect atmosphere for concentrated learning and deep discussions about human differnce. The retreat is funded by a variety of offices and programs on the University of Minnesota Morris campus. Contributions come from the Campus of Difference Initiative, Commission on Women, Student Organization Leaders Network, Minority Student Programs, Chancellor and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Student Counseling, Office of Residential Life, and the Morris Campus Student Association.

This collaborative campus effort produces a quality experience for the retreat participants and facilitators. The comments from the retreat evaluations are overwhelmingly positive. Below is a selection of comments from the evaluations.

  • I'm from a 100% white, straight community with traditional views of family roles. I've long thought this suspect, but it wasn't until now that I've found out to what extent.
  • Incredibly amazing. Definitely a turning point in my life, a new awakening. Not that I was ignorant of these issues, but the perspective & insight I've gained is priceless. Thank you.
  • There were constant reminders of how we can apply, and how we can stand up for what is right. There was also a good amount of applying tact to action.
  • The tools have been discovered, it's time to go to work.
  • Lead by example and challenge others. It's not about the's about the effort.
  • It is so important for us to understand each other at UMM. The purpose of UMM is education outside the classroom as well as inside.
  • Insight to life that could not be given in any other setting. I learned things faster and more in depth that you could in real life. Could take a lot of risks.
  • I enjoyed hearing the many different opinions and discussing those differences in a safe and productive environment.
  • I felt the focus was well balanced on all different issues.
  • I soaked up a lot of opinions and facts that I'm trying to get together in my head.
  • All of the discussions provided vast amounts of information that I would not have access to otherwise.
  • I learned a lot about my own prejudices.
  • Overwhelming at times, but so good for me to move beyond being so naive.
  • The atmosphere felt so safe, it seemed as if people never stopped talking.
  • I felt that I could voice my opinion, and even when I did mess up and use a derogatory term, I didn't feel penalized when it was brought to my attention.
  • I'm usually very reserved in doing anything like speaking in front of people. I've seriously never felt more comfortable in front of a large group of people. My ability to communicate and meet new people has grown so much. I'm so grateful.
  • People were real, they were honest.
  • I was forced to uncover my own prejudices and bias. Very valuable information.
  • I am still so overwhelmed with everything that I can't even begin to describe how amazing this experience was. I think the fact that an English major is speechless says it all, though.
  • I've gotten to know some great leaders whom I would feel comfortable talking with. Any hesitancy to join groups before has disappeared.
  • I know that I will be working with a variety of people and I want to be able to work well with them. This offered me an opportunity to learn how to do that.
  • Hearing personal stories made me more sensitive and attuned to the feelings of others.
  • I never realized before this year how prevalent racism is. I thought that it had died out.
  • THIS OUGHT TO BE A GRADUATION REQUIREMENT! I understand that this is logistically impossible, but I also feel that FYS may not be adequate.
  • I will be more sensitive to the feelings of others. I will be more aware of my actions of prejudice, no matter how subtle they may seem. I will try not to be hypocritical with my thoughts as compared to my actions.
  • I think it was a good experience that EVERYONE can benefit from.

The Vision Committee believes that as a result of the five Multicultural Student Leadership Retreats (1999-2003), the campus climate has changed for the better. Students often return with increased enthusiasm and a heightened awareness to diversity issues on campus. They use each other as resources as they make efforts to step out of their "comfort zones" and make changes on campus. Past participants have created a documentary about campus race relations, made efforts to start a new student organization, attended meetings of other student organizations, worked on collaborative projects, written articles and encouraged their peers to see the many facets of diversity. The quality of the program and the impact it has had on the campus has given the retreat a reputation for being worthwhile and even life changing.

The retreat is coordinated by the Campus of Difference Multicultural Student Leadership Retreat Vision Committee.

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Irma, our incredible intern (2001-2003)... doing something rather 5:30am!

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