There are a lot of ups and downs to being a student leader, so you have to be prepared for the good, the bad, and the ugly. For now, we’ll just focus on the good.
One of the things that I love about Saint Joe’s is that there are tons of student run organizations to join that allow you to find where you fit as a student leader. Throughout my four years here, I have been an executive board member on our programming board and two organizations within The Office of Multicultural Life, an ambassador for a freshman early move-in program, and an RA.
At the Fall Activities Fair my freshman year I signed up for every club that sounded interesting. The one that I got most involved with was the Student Union Board. They plan around 30 events per semester and their budget comes from the undergraduate Activities Fee. The first week of school is called Welcome Week so there are events on campus all week long. After attending every single one, I wanted to get on the other side and do more than just attend the events. By second semester I was on the executive board. It wasn’t easy but everything that I learned from it paid off in the long run.
As a sophomore I also joined the executive boards of the Latino Student Association and Bridging the Gap. Both of these organizations are run out of the OML which is where I did work study at the time. I alternated between secretary and publicist for both groups, so I was in charge of sending emails to members, reaching out to other organizations, promoting our events, and running social media platforms. Being a secretary for the most part is a pretty easy job and usually a good place to start for someone who is new to being a student leader. After doing a year or so in a secretary position, it is easy to move up in the organization and comfortably take on more responsibility.
When I applied to be an RA as a sophomore, one of the things that I was able to use to my advantage was how involved I was on campus. In my individual interview a lot of the questions that I answered were based off of my previous experiences. Sure, all of the organizations have totally different purposes, but after a while, you start to realize how much overlap there is.
The main reason that I became a student leader to begin with, (especially an RA and Running Start Ambassador) was to be more aware of what’s on campus and to be a resource for other students. Almost everyone finishes their first year with a list of things that they wish someone had told them before arriving on campus. As a student leader I was able to help answer those questions for someone else, before they even had to ask.
At the end of the day, that is what being a student leader is all about. Yes, getting involved will look good on your resume, but helping someone find their place on campus is much more important.