2017 College Councils Conference

September 29 - October 1, 2017
New Haven, Conn.

2017 College Councils Conference

Held annually since 1966, the College Councils Conference brings college Knights together from across the country and around the world. Attendees participate in a dynamic program of inspiring speakers, networking opportunities and leadership training. Each college council should plan to send at least two students to this year’s conference.

Register for the 2017 College Councils Conference.

Main Events:

  • Annual Awards Banquet

  • Training sessions, panels and main stage presentations discussing council best practices, leadership development, and ways to live as a Catholic gentleman.

  • A visit to the Knights of Columbus Museum

  • Holy Mass at St. Mary’s Church, the birthplace of the Order

Breakout Sessions

Building Council Fraternity and Developing Council Culture
College students are bombarded with opportunities to pursue a wide array of interests. College councils must compete with dozens of organizations and in particular with Greek societies and other faith-based groups for students’ time, energy, and devotion. The appeal of every one of these groups lies in their very culture and identity, or rather how they combine activities, values, and their social environment to develop a coherent experience. What makes a college council standout among the competition? How should we integrate the four principles of our order to shape an attractive culture?

This presentation will cover how to build membership that starts with strong leadership, authentic friendship that leads to fraternity, and culture that starts with Catholicism and ends in service. With practical examples and discussion, we will explore how each council can find and live out their mission within each unique school setting. We will achieve this by cutting to the core of each council’s existence and looking at what makes a council spiritually and fraternally successful.

Leadership Development: A Knight's Role on Campus

Dynamic leaders are a necessary part of any organization’s success and the same is true for college councils. As a leader in your council, you must direct meetings, plan council events and programs, and guide the council to reach its goals and objectives. To be an effective leader, you must also interact with other student groups, campus ministry personnel and school administrators. Finally, to ensure the future success of your council, today’s leaders must work with and develop underclassmen as the council leaders for tomorrow.

This presentation will discuss how council leaders can be examples of leadership and faith, both inside and outside of the council. We will explore the best habits and behaviors for council leaders to lead more effectively both within the Knights of Columbus setting and also on campus. We will also examine the best ways to interact and coordinate with other college groups, campus ministry personnel and college administrators. Finally, we will consider best practices for developing future leaders within your council.

Spiritual Development: Conquering the Crisis of Faith

One of the greatest challenges college men today face is the fear to live out their faith. Doubts and questions to religion continue to grow and college campuses often promote lifestyles contrary to our mission as witnesses for Christ. As Knights and Catholic gentlemen, we should live out our faith in our day-to-day lives and be a role model to all men.  Additionally, in this “crisis of faith,” young men should feel comfortable turning to the Knights of Columbus to practice and grow their faith. Through our individual examples and council programs we can encourage men on college campuses to respond with a resounding “yes” to take up their crosses and to fight the culture of suspicion.

In our presentation we will discuss tools to conquer this “crisis of faith.” We will consider techniques for growing in communal prayer as well as guidelines for personal spiritual growth. We will focus on popular pieties such as the Rosary, daily devotions and Scripture readings to help men reach a deeper spiritual level through contemplation. Finally, we will discuss how the writings and lives of holy and inspired saintly men such as Thomas Merton, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, and St. Benedict can provide additional teachings and reinforcement allowing us to grow spiritually.  

Best Practices in Council Management
When planning any sort of council event or program, council officers may encounter many obstacles which can cause even the greatest idea to fall flat. From inaccurate budgeting to poor communication to relational conflicts, the human side of management offers plenty of opportunities for small oversights to cause big consequences.

By interweaving experiences and anecdotes from fellow college Knights with advice from the corporate realm, this presentation will offer practical solutions to the following common management problems: ineffective communication, dysfunctional teams, bad budgeting, incomplete logistics, and more. Our presentation will include a walk-through example of planning a generic event in which everything “goes wrong,” offering and soliciting solutions for councils both big and small. Our hope is that you will return to your council with new ideas to improve existing events and to make sure your new ideas get off to a good start.


Travel Information

You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements. Please follow the guidelines below when purchasing tickets, etc. (Prices listed for ground transportation services are subject to change.)

If you plan to travel by air, please use a travel search engine (e.g., Kayak.com) to purchase airline tickets. These sites aggregate the information from airline websites and discount travel sites (e.g., Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, Travelocity.com) to find the best prices available.

Airfare should be purchased in advance, and no later than Friday, Sept. 8, 2017 (three weeks before the conference). If you have an expensive itinerary, please contact the Supreme Council staff before booking your ticket, as we may be able to find you a better deal with our travel agents.

To reduce costs, we encourage you to fly into one of the following major tri-state area airports:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in Queens, New York City;
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in Queens, New York City;
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in Newark, New Jersey; and
  • Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Hartford, Connecticut.

Detailed directions from each of these airports to New Haven may be found below. Subject to train schedules and road traffic, a one-way trip from Newark or New York City airports to New Haven will take approximately 3.5 hours. Travel from Bradley airport to New Haven is approximately one hour. Please plan accordingly to arrive in time for Friday evening’s activities and to attend the closing events before making your departing flight on Sunday.

Please plan to arrive in New Haven by 6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 29, and to depart from New Haven no earlier than 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 1.

Directions from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

  • Upon arrival at the airport, use the New York Airport Service express bus to travel to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. Transit time between John F. Kennedy International Airport and Grand Central Terminal is approximately one hour. If you are traveling with a group, it may be cost-effective to share a taxicab.
  • Upon arrival at Grand Central Terminal, purchase a ticket to New Haven for the Metro-North Railroad. Transit time between Grand Central Terminal and Union Station in New Haven is approximately two hours.
  • On weekdays, there is a free shuttle service that provides transportation between Union Station and downtown New Haven. This shuttle runs every 20 minutes and drops off in front of the hotel. More information may be found at CT Transit.
  • Alternatively, you can take a taxicab from Union Station to the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale (155 Temple Street). A taxi will cost about $5-10.

Directions from LaGuardia Airport (LGA)

  • Upon arrival at the airport, use the New York Airport Service express bus to travel to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. Transit time between LaGuardia Airport and Grand Central Terminal is approximately 45 minutes. If you are traveling with a group, it may be cost-effective to share a taxicab.
  • Upon arrival at Grand Central Terminal, purchase a ticket to New Haven for the Metro-North Railroad. Transit time between Grand Central Terminal and Union Station in New Haven is approximately two hours.
  • On weekdays, there is a free shuttle service that provides transportation between Union Station and downtown New Haven. This shuttle runs every 20 minutes and drops off in front of the hotel. More information may be found at CT Transit.
  • Alternatively, you can take a taxicab from Union Station to the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale (155 Temple Street). A taxi will cost about $5-10.

Directions from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

  • Upon arrival at the airport, use the Newark Liberty Airport Express bus to travel to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. Transit time between Newark Liberty International Airport and Grand Central Terminal is approximately 45 minutes.
  • Upon arrival at Grand Central Terminal, purchase a ticket to New Haven for the Metro-North Railroad. Transit time between Grand Central Terminal and Union Station in New Haven is approximately two hours.
  • Alternatively, you may consider taking Amtrak directly from the airport station to New Haven.
  • On weekdays, there is a free shuttle service that provides transportation between Union Station and downtown New Haven. This shuttle runs every 20 minutes and drops off in front of the hotel. More information may be found at CT Transit.
  • Alternatively, you can take a taxicab from Union Station to the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale (155 Temple Street). A taxi will cost about $5-10.

Directions from Bradley International Airport (BDL)

  • We encourage you to consider an airport shuttle service, such as Connecticut Limo, to travel from Hartford to New Haven. Reservations should be made in advance; you can do so online. A one-way fare is $49 per person and roundtrip is $89 per person. The Connecticut Limo drops passengers off directly at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale (155 Temple Street). Connecticut Limo picks up passengers in front of Door # 1 (near the Southwest baggage claim area).
  • Alternatively, you may arrange an Uber ride once you arrive at Bradley. This can be cheaper if you travel in a group as most non-peak times run $60-$70 from Bradley to the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale (155 Temple Street).
  • A traditional taxi service is also available. However, these run at a flat rate of $120 from Bradley to New Haven.

Metro-North Railroad

  • The Metro-North Railroad is a commuter rail system.
  • When traveling from New York to New Haven, peak (i.e., rush hour) fares apply in the morning until 9:00 a.m. and in the evening from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. When traveling from New Haven to New York, peak fares apply in the morning until 9:00 a.m. The peak fare for one-way travel between New York and New Haven is $23.25; the off-peak fare is $17.50. All weekend fares are off-peak.
  • We encourage you to purchase your tickets in the station, as fares are much more expensive if you purchase your tickets from the conductor on the train. You may also download the Metro North Railroad app and purchase tickets through that.
  • More information on the Metro-North Railroad may be found on the Metropolitan Transit Authority website.

New York Airport Service

  • The New York Airport Service provides safe and reliable transportation between destinations in Manhattan and the New York City airports. Upon arrival at the airport, proceed to the New York Airport Service bus stop, which is located outside baggage claim at every terminal.
  • Tickets may be purchased online or on the bus. For more information, please consult the New York Airport Service website
  • From LaGuardia Airport to Grand Central Terminal, one-way fare is $15.00; round-trip fare is $24.00. From John F. Kennedy International Airport to Grand Central Terminal, one-way fare in $18.00; round-trip fare is $27.00.

Newark Liberty Airport Express

  • The Newark Liberty Airport Express provides safe and reliable transportation between destinations in Manhattan and Newark Liberty International Airport. Upon arrival at the airport, proceed to the bus stop, which is located outside baggage claim at terminals A, B and C.
  • Near Grand Central Terminal, buses load and drop off at 120 E. 41st Street, between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue. The main entrance to Grand Central Terminal is located at Park Avenue and 42nd Street.
  • Tickets may be purchased online or on the bus. If tickets are purchased online, tickets should be printed as the bus does not accept e-tickets. For more information, please consult the Coach USA / Olympia Trails website.
  • From Newark Liberty International Airport to Grand Central Terminal, one-way fare is $16.00; round-trip fare is $28.00. There is also a $1.00 administrative fee per ticket.

Traveling by Car

  • Should you prefer to drive from campus or rent a car once you land at one of the above airports, please make your way to the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale (155 Temple Street).
  • There is parking available at the hotel which runs between $20 and $30 per night. You may have this fee billed to your room. However, please note that these funds will then be deducted from your council’s travel stipend check.


Lodging

Attendees to the 2017 College Councils Conference will stay at the Omni New Haven Hotel (155 Temple Street). Your online registration serves as your room reservation for Friday and Saturday night. If you count as an additional student above the two covered by the Supreme Council, your registration will still reserve you a room, but  your council will be billed the $200 conference fee after the conference. Please note that even though your room will be included on the Supreme Council’s master bill, the hotel will need a credit card to keep on file for incidentals.

Student representatives from the same school will occupy a room together. A lone representative from one school will be paired with another sole representative from another campus. Chaplains will receive single-room accommodations. Due to the growing size of the conference, we ask financial secretaries, district deputies and college coordinators to share rooms with another financial secretary, district deputy or college coordinator. We make these assignments based on age and geographic location, preferring to arrange first by age, and then by those coming from the same area or region.

Please note that due to the size of this event we cannot make arrangements for wives or other family members.

Any questions or concerns regarding lodging should be directed to the College Councils Department at college@kofc.org or 203-752-4671.


Eligibility & Reimbursement

This year, the Supreme Council will cover the travel costs and Conference Fee (hotel/meals) for two students, the council chaplain and the financial secretary from each college council in North America. At the Supreme Council’s discretion, members of college roundtables and other developing college councils may also be invited.

Student representatives should be enrolled at the college or university their council supports. The Supreme Council suggests that college councils send students who serve as officers of the council (i.e., grand knight), however this is not required; any student may represent his council. At most, a college council may send seven student representatives, however, the Supreme Council will only offer travel stipends and waive the Conference Fee for the first two.

If the council chaplain cannot attend the conference, his invitation may be extended to another priest who works with the council.

Financial secretaries are invited to attend with their council, however, if they cannot attend, their invitation is non-transferable. The council may not send another student or officer in his place.

Those who attend the conference at the expense of the Supreme Council are responsible for making their own travel arrangements.  In the weeks following the conference, travel stipend checks will be mailed to each council’s financial secretary.  The council will bear the responsibility of reimbursing the student representative(s) from these funds.  These checks will reflect distance from New Haven, CT, and average travel costs from that region.  Councils unsure of the travel stipend amount for their council can contact the College Councils Department at (203)-752-4671 or college@kofc.org.

Conference Fee

There is a $200.00 Conference Fee to cover lodging and meals throughout the conference.  The Supreme Council will waive this fee for attendees that travel at the expense of the Supreme Council.  For college councils that send additional representatives above those covered by Supreme, they will be billed this fee in their next council statement.  It will be up to the council to collect this fee from the individual traveler if it desires.