Rachel Robertson, a senior education major and director of the University Leadership Council, begins her biweekly meeting by introducing her new goals for the year. Joshua Powell, a junior music business major, gets comfortable on the couch, while Sarah Russell, a junior education major, lies on the floor and prepares for an exciting and productive meeting.
Just under a decade ago, the Anderson University’s Department of Student Life, as well as student leaders across campus, believed there was a separation between campus leaders. After planning ways to promote leadership on campus, the University Leadership Council (ULC) began in the fall of 2003. The ULC was formed to help student leaders work together and overcome the burdens and trials that come with student leadership. [Photo on left: More than 150 student leaders gathered before school started to help create unity among student leaders. The ULC director is responsible for helping plan this retreat.]
Student leaders are put in difficult situations such as reinforcing the university’s policies among their peers and sometimes their close friends. Since the ULC began, leaders have been able to bond and to work together through trials that come their way.
Abby Knowles, director of student leadership, said ULC came from the idea that students could work together to bring unity among leaders on campus. “Before the ULC there was no real reason for the leaders to interact, but after seeing benefits of how leaders can utilize each other for support and encouragement, the ULC has been a major benefit to the student leadership program,” Knowles said.
Leaders in the ULC are made up of 18-20 students. The members of the ULC range from residence life, student programs, student government, campus ministries, and more. These leaders are selected each year by the ULC director.
“I believe the group I selected this year is a diverse, passionate, and motivated group,” Robertson said. “I believe that we can accomplish our goal of reaching out to student leaders and informing them and the campus of who we are and what we are here to do.”
Robertson was involved in student leadership the past two years; she was a resident assistant her sophomore year and a peer mentor last year. She applied for the ULC director position because she wanted to impact the campus as a leader in an administrative role.
The ULC staff is made up of members who are already busy with their course loads, their own student leadership responsibilities, and friends. The director is left to guide these individuals into a council and bring about unity among the leaders through leadership retreats and events. [Photo on right: Morrison Hall RAs pictured at Flat Rock camp during the student leadership retreat this year.]
Robertson created a Facebook group for the university leaders to post prayer requests, offer advice, or anything they feel is necessary. Robertson plans to make the leaders more aware of the ULC and allow them to utilize the council's services. “The ULC is here for the student leaders. I want them to use this resource to their advantage as much as they can,” Robertson said.
“I think the leaders on campus — both the ones that are recognized by the school and the ones that the students recognize — are one and the same,” said Robertson. “Both types of leaders should be held up and appreciated for the work and effort they do for the benefit of others. Every leader on campus makes it a great experience for anyone who calls AU home.”
— Matt Dougherty is a senior from Breese, Ill., majoring in communication arts and marketing. Dougherty is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.