Class of 2016 Retreat

by All Around CMU-Q

By Devika Hastak

Saturday, October 20 was a good balance of hectic and relaxing for the Class of 2016 at CMUQ’s traditional Freshman Retreat. Every year, the freshman class is taken to a resort where they interact with their classmates through team building activities and recreation. This year, the freshmen spent “Saturday @ The Sharq” as the retreat was named.

Unlike previous years, this year’s retreat was entirely student run with 10 hand-picked student facilitators monitoring each team building activity. “We were looking for ways to provide more leadership opportunities for students, and we even had all the equipment”, said Kevin D’Arco, Student Development Coordinator. Organised completely from scratch by Vanessa Fernandes (TPR ‘15) and Rukhsar Neyaz Khan (CS ‘15), the retreated started of with 10 team building activities, followed by a sumptuous lunch, discussion time and finally, free time for the students to unwind and relax by the beach or the pool.

Despite their success each year, there has been some speculation regarding the duration and location of these retreats.  With previous years spending 3 days in Oman and a day and a night at Sealine Beach Resort, some students were curious as to why this year’s retreat was just one day at Sharq Village and Spa. Although the specific reasons for this change could not be disclosed, D’Arco mentioned that they “wanted more people to participate…overnight didn’t work.”

All in all, it was a day filled with interaction, relaxation, a little bit of learning, and ofcourse, food! The main goal of the retreat, bringing the freshmen, faculty and staff closer together, was successfully achieved. “I spoke to a lot of people I hadn’t spoken to before”, said Cania Antariksa (CS ‘16). “I had a tough week, so it was a good change of pace before we started working again on Sunday,” she added. The few freshmen who had heard about the previous years’ retreats said that their day-long retreat was just right since they still did have a lot of work to do.

Why the retreats seem to be deteriorating in duration and location as the years pass will always remain a mystery however, their purpose and outcome will always be a desired one. The next big question is, where will the next retreat be and for how long?