Monday, July 18, 2011

UC Forum for Young Leaders

By Tim Vutha

The 5th Mandate University of Cambodia Student Senate (UCSS) hosted the first University of Cambodia (UC) Forum for Young Leaders on March 13 aimed at encouraging students to merge leadership development with their academic education.

The leadership forum marked the second project successfully run by UCSS. Over 200 UC students and faculty members participated in the half-day event, which was opened by Sokkhea Gechcheng, UCSS Treasurer and Project Personnel. Dr. Angus D. Munro, UC Vice President for Academic Affairs, delivered the keynote address on the concept of leadership and characteristics of a good leader.“You need to make sure that goals are achieved in an ethical and righteous manner,” said the Vice President.

Forum participants then watched a role play performance by UC law students: Koy Piseth, Ngov Houtchhay, and Ork Ratha (lawyers); and Heng Chievon, Ing Veasna, and Khoun Theara (prosecutors). The law students performed a mock trial so students could learn about the legal process, as well as gain useful legal advocacy skills. Tep Punloeu, Associate Dean of the College of Law and Project Adviser, facilitated the mock trial, while Ty Rithiya and Phan Sin, both instructors at UC, served as judges of the mock trial.

Afterwards, participants attended one of four student- or alumni-led leadership workshops: “Decision Making,” presented by Chheng Sovannka; “Communication Skills,” presented by Ieng Chankreusna; “Community Service,” presented by Venerable Ouen SamArt; and “Professional Skills,” presented by Chhuon Panha.

The forum participants also watched a video presentation, created by UC student Nguon Lim, featuring five international students’ perspectives on youth leadership, and engaged in a short open discussion on youth leadership. Ry Thany, a UC student majoring in Business Management, said that leadership occurs everywhere and that leading people is leading by the heart.
“You can’t avoid being a leader. . .you have to lead yourself to bring your life to a level that you can celebrate success,” Miss Thany said. She continued, “You can’t force people to follow you, for it will not last.”

The forum closed with remarks from Chanty Pisal, UCSS President, and the two Project Advisors, Tep Punloeu and Seng-Dao Keo, Director of Office of the President and UC Foundation.

Mrs. Keo said that everybody has the capacity to be a leader, and valuable leadership skills can be learned from people in different areas of one’s life.

Mr. Punloeu emphasized that learning to being a leader does not mean you have to reach the top position, like the Prime Minister, Minister, or other top ranking titles.

“You can also be an effective leader in the classroom, in the family, and among your team to fulfill the common set goals,” he said.

The organizing team aimed for the participants to gain more confidence and skills, and to be inspired to bravely walk the leadership path. Now that technology has become even more advanced, leadership skills are being widely introduced throughout the world to young people, and individuals can more easily learn skills from successful leaders.

Source: UC Bulletin March 2011, Page 16

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