Q Union draws crowd of over 500, calls for the "healing of a divided nation"
Last Thursday, a leadership event on campus challenged over 500 students to think critically about what's causing division in our nation today.
There was quite the turnout at the event, titled “Q Union.” More than 500 people came to the nationally broadcasted leadership seminar dedicated to educating and inspiring students about healing a divided nation.
Vice President for Student Development Mike Hayes said choosing the event was easy as it aligned with Lee University’s core principles.
“It’s important how we live out a consistent, constant faith in a really complex world,” Hayes said. “The heart of the Lee University mission statement is to prepare students for responsible Christian living in a complex world, and that’s what this is all about.”
Hayes said Q Union is just one of the annual leadership conferences hosted by the Office of Student Development.
“We started doing leadership development conferences 20 years ago this semester, and we’ve hosted a conference every fall since then,” Hayes said. “Typically on one of those fall conferences, we may have 150 to 200 students. Tonight, we had over 500.”
The event included three national speakers broadcasted from Q and three live Lee University student speakers all discussing the importance of caring for one's neighbor through leading.
Senior psychology major Sarah Nicolae and senior mathematics education major Kelsey Fowler said Q Union's subject matter drove them to attend.
“Although I’m no longer in a leadership role, I’d like to know these topics to be a leader in my everyday life,” Nicolae said. “And this is such a prevalent topic.”
Fowler echoes her support of students’ involvement in leadership: “If a student is wondering how they can change a problem that seems so large, why not come to an event like this to start to get some answers and some language to use?”
Students and faculty alike agree the message of healing the divided nation is vital to young Christians at Lee.
Savannah Stone, a junior public relations major and one of the speakers at the event, said education and action are essential to achieving the message of Q Union. Her message was one of practicality and operation.
“We can talk about our divided nation all day, but if we don’t truly focus on the practical ways that we can heal it then little will come from this conference,” Stone said.
Stone continued her message of celebrating diversity with a word of inspiration to Lee students struggling with complacency.
“We assume that Lee culture is really uniform. However, we are very diverse,” Stone said. “Encouraging Lee to acknowledge our differences and not just humoring our sameness could be a really big step in seizing an opportunity to learn from each other.”
The Office of Student Development will continue to offer annual leadership conferences to all students in the fall.