I can’t believe it’s Spring Weekend season! Things on campus are such a flurry of activity between Greek Week, Springfest, Honors events, etc. that it’s hard to keep up with all of the scheduled events, let alone get anything done in between!
I’m consistently amazed with the things I observe from our programming board leadership and membership during this time of year. You would think they would be tired by this point in they year, but they just keep coming back for more and even bring their “A Game” for these big events. Our Program Committee students asked me to come to their meeting and speak to them about what our Springfest means for the campus and what it requires of them. I didn’t prepare a word of my “talk,” but for some reason the words are so easy when I talk about their role on campus and how important they are to us. Every campus has some kind of programming organization and I really believe that despite the long list of functions that come out of our office, our programming board is the heart of our operation.
Every campus has some kind of programming board, yet why does our profession know so little about them? Referring to my favorite leadership inventory, the Student Leadership Practices Inventory, for all of the great normative data provided by the authors you can’t find anything on our programming students. Literature searches offer little to nothing relating to specific leadership styles of students who gravitate to different areas of involvement.
If we were to analyze our programming board students and their leadership styles, what do you think we would find?
I think we’d find a very high service orientation and a high level of altruism. I’m constantly amazed by the giving nature of these students. I’d also throw out that they are just a bit more thoughtful and a bit more focused on “encouraging the heart.” They seem to do a great job at keeping their members engaged, enthusiastic, and proud of what the group is doing.
What do you think makes them so special?
Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (1998). Student Leadership Practices Inventory: The Facilitators Guide. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.