At the start of the academic year or the semester many colleges and universities conduct leadership programs and retreats for student government officers, members of the campus programming board, emerging leaders programs, and residence life. Many of these programs include a variety of topics including servant leadership and developing effective communication between team members. Usually, there is a team building element to these events where students get to know each other better and make connections intended to pave the way for future success.
There’s another large pool of student leaders on your campus who sometimes get overlooked and who also need to develop their leadership skills.
Those are the officers and prominent members of other campus organizations. A half- or full-day training program can help them run their organizations more effectively, get more students involved, and do some great things for your school and community. A great benefit of this training is that you increase involvement of more students through the organizations. This should lead to increased retention of those students at your institution, give them a greater sense of connection to the school, and diminish the challenges and disciplinary situations that you and other administrators may have to face.
Overall, these students will have enhanced their educational experience and be better prepared for success beyond school.
Consider combining your training events in order to use your time and leadership budget more effectively. As a great example of of schools can make this happen is a program I did with the University of Texas-Brownsville/Texas Southmost College. I trained their SGA officers on a Friday night and then led their Campus Organization Leadership Training the next day and it was a great success. On Friday night, the SGA officers worked on communication as a team, recognizing diversity within the team, and team building. The next day, they served as the support staff for the organization leaders’ training program by setting up in the morning, running registration, serving lunch, and more.
This event was also a great example of true servant leadership in action. The SGA members actually served the officers of the incoming organizations being trained on Saturday. Instead of “WIIFM” being on their minds their role was to serve in order to make the training a success. It also goes to show that serving means us serving each other and serving our peers as well. There was no “us versus them” and everyone worked together to have an excellent day of training.
By creating a culture of servant leadership on your campus, you will be adding to your students’ skill set and playing an important part in their future success!