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Presidents’ Roundtable

Presidents’ Roundtable Committee


The Presidents’ Roundtable committee will serve as the central leadership team of student organization presidents. One of the biggest takeaways from the annual Presidents’ Roundtable retreat was the need for continued dialogue among student organization presidents throughout the school year. The committee will meet once a month in the fall semester and bi-weekly during the spring semester.

Mission of the Presidents’ Roundtable Committee

Committee Members 2015-2016

  • Jackson Vaught, Class of 2016
  • Kelly Bartholomew, Class of 2016
  • Hannah Younker, Class of 2017
  • Judith Cohen, Class of 2017
  • Kevin Ellenburg, Class of 2017
  • Taylor Gutierrez, Class of 2017
  • Gabrielle Grys, Class of 2018

Recap of 2015 Presidents’ Roundtable Retreat

The Presidents’ Roundtable, cosponsored by Vanderbilt Student Government and the Office of Student Organizations and Anchor Link, took place on Monday, August 24th at the Nelson Andrews Leadership Lodge with approximately 100 students in attendance. The purpose of the Presidents’ Roundtable was to provide a platform for student organization presidents to network, collaborate, and help identify priorities for the Vanderbilt student community. The Presidents’ Roundtable created a space for campus leaders to dialogue about current issues, produce strategies for partnerships across organizations, and establish a vision for the 2015-16 academic school year in conjunction with Vanderbilt Student Government.

Students had the opportunity to hear from Dean Mark Bandas, who discussed the reorganization of the Dean of Students Office. Dean Vanessa Beasley, the keynote speaker, focused her presentation on three guaranteed steps to better collaboration: show up, pay attention, and don’t get too attached to the results. In expanding upon the last point, Dean Beasley argued that modern campus culture sends the message of “we are what we achieve.” However, as a leader, you will inevitably fail and you will fail publicly. Are we embracing moments of failure as opportunities to grow? As leaders, we must be attached to the value of the process as much or more than the result. You must have new ideas and be willing to take risks related to those ideas in order to foster change. Dean Beasley’s message on collaboration set the tone for a growth mindset in seeing challenges as opportunities on campus.

Following Dean Beasley’s talk, Jackson Vaught, VSG’s Speaker of the Senate, and Lizzy Shahnasarian, VSG’s President, led a group activity focused on setting an agenda for the school year. After each of the twelve tables presented their group’s agenda items, the students agreed on 5 overarching agenda items to focus on during this academic school year. The items were redefining co-sponsorships, continued contact between student leaders, faculty involvement, more effective outreach, and don’t get too focused on the results.

The last presenter of the day was Krystal Clark, who serves as the Director of Student Leadership Development. Krystal facilitated an interactive activity in which students worked on creating a program, service, or product that addressed one of the aforementioned agenda items. The students had the opportunity to share their programs and think through the concept of sustainability of their programs on campus. The Presidents’ Roundtable allowed student leaders of different student organizations the opportunity to begin conversations. One of the biggest takeaways from this event was the need for continued dialogue among student organization presidents throughout the school year. The Presidents’ Roundtable committee will meet to discuss action items moving forward.