Trent University logo  
Daily News

Calendar of Events

Search the Site

Daily News

News Releases

Sporting News

Special Bulletins

Daily News Archives

Weekly Feature Archives

The View from Trent

Trent Magazine

Focus Trent

Build 2000


The "Donning" of a New Academic Year

Some serious team-building skills evolved out of some serious fun, as 32 student dons joined in Team Challenge Day, as part of their weeklong training to become student supports in residence. They worked together to solve what organizers termed "difficult situations" -- like the balancing of 10 people on not much more than a square-foot wooden box.

"These activities provide them (the dons) with skills and problem solving techniques to use throughout the year," says Casey Phillips, one of five live-in professional college dons at Trent and an organizer of Team Challenge Day.

While most of the week in-training was spent in the classroom learning about among other things, conflict mediation and resolution, listening skills and crisis response, these activities taught student dons how to work together as a team, and to communicate intuitively.

In another of the 10 activities, student dons paired up; one partner was blindfolded and together they searched for so-call dakkai eggs (small water balloons). The catch? Only the blindfolded partner could pick up and retrieve the eggs. In this case, student dons had to trust each other and communicate creatively.

"The student dons learn a lot about themselves this way," says Mr. Phillips, who debriefed with his group after each activity, talking about why and how things worked, or in some cases, didn’t.

The role of a don includes programming and community building in residence, which involves challenging students and encouraging them to explore. Not so coincidentally, that too, was the purpose of Team Challenge Day.

Joann Warren, a returning Otonabee College don, says the skills the student dons have developed this week will encourage a consistent approach to their work throughout the university. This is the second year student dons have worked together with full-time live-in professional dons in residence.

"It’s (being a student don) an absolutely marvelous opportunity for students at Trent," says Mr. Phillips.

Posted September 3, 2003

Return to Trent University Home
Go to Trent University Site Index
A to Z
Maintained by the Communications Office
Last Updated June 24, 2003