THE BELLS — If there’s one word that pumps up student leaders across campus, it’s CASL.
The Christian Association of Student Leaders conference is an annual event that brings students from different universities together to think-tank and encourage one another.
“(CASL) is first and foremost a leadership conference. It’s a place where you go and you learn how to be a good leader through your organization and back on your campus,” senior Christian studies major Katelyn Killian said. “I think its second purpose is to share ideas and just talk and brainstorm. It’s a good source for new ideas and new thoughts.”
Killian joined 15 others on the CASL Steering Committee. The conference rotates among campuses on a seven-year track. This year, it was the Cru’s turn to host.
Faculty and students attended from seven different universities, putting attendance at 275.
Despite the surprise of snow, the conference was a success. Director of Student Organizations Tiffany Wurdemann saw the weather as an opportunity to solidify the meaning of the conference.
“I think the biggest thing with that is, it’s a leadership program,” she said. “So anything that happens, it’s like a live workshop of ‘well, what are we going to do?’”
Mon’Sher Spencer, a staff member from Houston Baptist University, is a CASL veteran. This was her sixth year to bring students to the conference.
“The big thing I want them to know is that, one, they’re not alone, and that they don’t have to do everything themselves,” she said. “The best thing of being a leader is being able to empower others to lead as well. I want them to see ways that they can impact the students that they lead to lead … they’re actually passing it forward.”
Senior psychology major Jason Aleman was a member of the hospitality committee. One popular element was a ball pit.
“We have balls with questions on them so they can get in and get to know someone they don’t know, ask questions and play in the ball pit,” Aleman said.
A major aspect of CASL are the round tables, where people break into their different organizations to discuss ideas and issues. Senior mathematics major Ryan Frusha helped organize the talks.
“We really tried to pick good quality leaders who are fun but also focused, good leaders on campus that can maintain a good atmosphere,” he said.
Sophomore chemistry major Elliott Taylor and sophomore elementary education major Lauren Daugherty were first-time CASL attendees from Mississippi College. They found the round tables helpful for their jobs as resident assistants.
“I enjoyed hearing what other RAs had to say about certain things. That was kind of like upperclassmen wisdom,” Taylor said.
Daugherty enjoyed her first CASL and hopes to return in the future.
“I think it’s so beautiful to see and to be reminded how we all work together as a body, even in the different schools, how we all portray the Lord.”