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2016 Sloop Institute for Excellence in Leadership Cancelled

The 2016 Sloop Institute for Excellence in Leadership, a prestigious two day workshop for Frostburg State University’s student leaders to meet with alumni, has been canceled due to last minute problems at the Turf Valley Resort, the conference’s venue.

University officials have not yet decided whether the institute will be rescheduled for later in the semester, according to university spokesperson Liz Medcalf.

Participating students were already on the bus to leave for Turf Valley when the decision was made to cancel the event.

“This weekend’s Sloop Institute for Excellence in Leadership, scheduled for Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, was cancelled mid-day Friday when the management at Turf Valley informed FSU officials that they had called in a public health inspector to investigate a possible issue with illness at the resort and would be unable to provide services until that inspection was complete,” Medcalf said. “Turf Valley had experienced issues with illness among their patrons in February, but until the new report came on Friday, they had been cleared to operate.”

“Because buses carrying the student Sloop participants were due to leave Frostburg in a very short time, and because there was no way to know how long it might take to identify or resolve the issue at Turf Valley, FSU officials felt they had no other choice than to cancel the weekend event at the resort. They chose to err on the side of caution rather than risk the health of so many students, alumni and friends. Likewise, because there is an Admissions Open House tomorrow, no appropriate venues were available on campus to hold an abbreviated program on campus.”

A spokesperson for Turf Valley confirmed that there was a virus going around the hotel and that visitors became sick. “We want to keep everyone safe, so we are working on closing our events this weekend,” the spokesperson said.

Doug Baer, the director of the office for leadership and experiential learning, has been contacted for comment. Baer is responsible for organizing the event.

The university has held this conference at Turf Valley for a number of years with no problems.

According to FSU’s website, “The Sloop Institute for Excellence in Leadership is an advanced experience designed to complement the training and development of our student leaders.  Focus within this workshop is designed around Frostburg State University’s Leadership Competency Model.  Participants will develop more skills in communicating intentionally, building and maintaining relationships, developing and empowering others, understanding and facilitating group processes, and developing and carrying out solutions.”

Forty student leaders in their sophomore or junior years are invited to attend.

The institute, which began in 1998, is named for Dr. Richard Sloop, who was a student mentor at FSU for 35 years.

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