The Council of Unions and Student Programs (CUSP) Conference is an annual conference that is held in Wenatchee, Washington. The conference is also sometimes referred to as a leadership retreat as it is aimed to provide more opportunities for student leaders across the state to interact and exchange ideas with each other. Each year, Bellevue College sends approximately 40 students to take part in this conference. This year, the CUSP conference will be held Sept. 5-7.
In the past years, students from community and technical colleges such as Spokane Community College, North Seattle Community College, Shoreline Community College and other colleges also took part in this conference. The conference is a great place for student leaders to increase their network and pool their ideas.
Sarah Fisher, program coordinator of Peer2Peer at BC went to the conference with BC students last year. “[The conference is] a good chance for students to network with leaders from surrounding schools,” said Fisher. She also added that it would be a good experience for students to attend the conference.
At this conference, students will be attending educational workshops, showcases, and many other activities.
President of Latin American Culture Club (LACC), Eliseo Gonzalez, went to the conference last year. According to him, he was excited to meet the different student leaders, directors, presidents, and others. He said that the conference is like a bridge that starts up a relationship between student leaders so that they could exchange their thoughts.
One of the highlights of the event, according to Gonzalez, is the entertaining workshops. The workshops teach students about how to work with people with different personalities, how to utilize each members’ strengths and weaknesses and more.
“There’s a lot of good food; that’s what I remembered.” Gonzalez added.
Gonzalez will not be going to the conference again this year because he wants to give the opportunity to other students to go through the same experience as him.
Last year attendee and Peer2Peer volunteer coordinator, Christopher Vu, said that the experience was enriching and that it allowed him and other students to network with their counterparts from other colleges around the state. “The amount of knowledge gained was priceless. It was an experience worth going on to learn how to better serve our students in the Bellevue College community,” added Vu.
International student and international student ambassador, Grace Li, is going to participate in the CUSP leadership retreat.
“I would like to meet other student leaders from other cities of Washington and learn from them,” said Li.
She compared the retreat to the one she participated previously which was Camp Casey. Li added, “I enjoyed Camp Casey and I learned a lot from student leaders and I believe that I would learn much more in this camp.”