Forming and Preparing Future Leaders
With more than 60 student clubs and organizations, Assumption College offers to students a variety of ways to get involved on campus, ranging from the Outdoors Club, to the student newspaper, to the Greytones, and much more. Though each of those clubs is provided an advisor, the students elected to leadership positions are responsible for running each club, providing them relevant experience that they then take to graduate school or into the workplace.
At the beginning of each semester, these student leaders participate in Student Leader Training, a daylong exercise during which club and organization administrators learn skills they will need to successfully lead their clubs and to use their position to serve others. The purpose of the training is to encourage students to support and expand the College’s long-standing reputation of a welcoming, supportive and vibrant community for all students
During the training, students participate in multiple activities that explore different leadership styles and characteristics of an effective leader. This year’s training emphasized the spiritual gifts that each student leader possesses, and how they can use those spiritual gifts in their own clubs and throughout the Assumption community.
“A lot of what we talked about today was about mercy and extending a helping hand to others,” said Madalyn Sirois ’19, president of the College’s Residential Hall Association, adding that the small act of reaching out to someone who does not feel comfortable on campus can make a big difference.
Sirois noted that much of the day’s discussion centered on how student leaders mirror servant leaders. Because it coincided with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the training drew upon the life of the late Dr. King and the challenges he faced as a leader. Students were encouraged to learn from Dr. King’s response to hardships and challenges.
“One of the things that I really loved about Student Leader Training is how [it was tied] into Martin Luther King Day and how his spiritual gifts were used during a time of prejudice and during a time of social injustice in our country,” said Zachary Sneering ’19, who is the head resident assistant for the Living Learning Center.
While the Student Leader Training invited students to share their spiritual gift that helps form the campus into a community, it was also an opportunity for them to look at the bigger picture of where they want Assumption to be as a whole, and how student leaders are extending a greater hand to the Worcester community.
Kaitlin Bevins, director of Student Activities and Leadership Development, explained that while the leadership training event is unique, it is important for student leaders on campus to have the opportunity to learn and grow from each other. “You don’t normally see resident assistants and members of the Campus Activity Board working together, or PAWS and Campus Ministry leaders collaborating, but at Assumption we encourage working together,” Bevins said. “We are able to create an environment to form relationships with other student leaders in other groups to better understand what the campus community needs.”
Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College