On October 23, the Student Affairs Collective and @ACUItweets teamed up for a great discussion on Over-Involved Student Leaders. As a semi-regular participant in both, it was interesting to see both sides of this conversation play out. Most of the conversation on the “ACUI side” came through ACUI’s Online Learning framework, via Adobe Connect. Verbal input was primarily limited to reiteration of points others made, but Talesha Christian (University of Arkansas) offered her thoughts on balancing students’ efforts to learn about time management through trial-and-error with our efforts as professionals to engage in hand-holding. In the Twitterverse, participants put out some great ideas regarding identifying over-involved students. Kristen Franklin (@kristenjf) offered her metric: “When they’re more stressed out about extra curriculars than they are about academics.” A common concern among participants was why and how these students end up over-involved, as noted by ACUI member Jeff Pelletier (@JeffBC94): “20% of people doing 80% of work. We have to spread out opportunities to more students.” It was near-universally-agreed that professional staff role-modeling appropriate balance and “saying no” was a critical element in avoiding over-involvement by our student leaders. Jake Frasier (@jakefrasier) recommended framing involvement in terms of “what matters” instead of looking at involvement like “a bingo card of acronyms.”
Great points were made by so many people in this week’s ACUI #SAChat. Walking away after the conversation, it was clear that there remains much work to be done: spreading out the involvement at smaller schools, developing check-in mechanisms for our student leaders, teaching our students (and ourselves) to say “no” as required… the list for our involvement in this process (but not OVER-involvement) goes on.
This post was written by the folks over at ACUI, including Rob Stagni, Director, Arkansas Union at University of Arkansas.