SUSDA Community Retreat

Annually, the Graduate Student Council receives funds to distribute to Seattle University graduate students. The Graduate Student Council budgets funds for allocations to SU graduate students, student organizations, and academic programs for personal and professional development, events that promote community among the graduate student body and uphold the mission and values of Seattle University. The following event received funding from the GSC.


Submitted By Chris Van Drimmelen

On October 12, 2013, the Seattle University Student Development Association (SUSDA) hosted our annual Community Retreat at Camp Berachah in Auburn, WA. This retreat serves as SUSDA’s formal “kick-off” for the year, allowing many students in the Student Development Administration program to come together for an entire day of planning, bonding, and a lot of good fun.

This year, in addition to our mentorship program and SUSDA committees that we convene every year, SUSDA was also proud to introduce our new iGroup program. These Identity Groups will allow students within our program to meet regularly and discuss pertinent topics related to their shared identities. As the year progresses, this intentional dialogue will be expanded across identities and throughout our program.

The biggest impact of our retreat every year is the opportunity for First-Year and Continuing students to bond and get to know one another better. While ours is not a “cohort” model program, these two groups are still quite distinct, so we strive to integrate everyone into our community starting with events like the retreat.

The retreat was very well received by our community – particularly when it came to the opportunities that we provided for folks to share their personal stories and to share our unique contexts and values. All of this was underscored by great food and facilities provided by our retreat location. The retreat has set a great tone for our year and we look forward to building on the work that we have started.


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