Student Leadership is an integral part of student success, as well as a fulfilling academic experience for every student attending university.
With SU Elections approaching fast, our student nominees getting ready to start their campaigns, and the atmosphere at university filled with electric anticipation, it makes us think; Why? Why is it so vital to participate in the voting process? And why do we even NEED students at university leading and taking charge?
It is known that Leadership and Passion often go hand in hand; leaders passionate about their work and what they believe in and having the ability to arouse that passion in their fellow students and team members are the ones that are considered effective. However, we often discuss the benefits of taking up leadership posts for the nominee students, but what almost never catches our attention is how student involvement in selecting these leaders, and interactions between them forms part of the hierarchy of effective leadership within the university. There are wide-ranging lessons for everyone privileged to work with effective student leaders.
Student Leadership can be understood as an institution that helps improve the university. These leaders include the student perspectives and engagement in order to gauge ideas and feedback. The elections are an opportunity to engage students as key members of the leadership process, as their involvement in the voting and decision-making ensures meaningful student leadership, that bridges the gap between the University management and the students themselves. Hence its pivotal for students to take part in the campaigning and voting process, so that they have the opportunity to elect Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Officers etc, that will truly enhance our experience at university and to who we can communicate our ideas effectively and honestly, with the knowledge that they will be considered and sent to the University management, and not be dissolved in notepads and chains of command. It gives each and every student the opportunity to select people who they believe will involve as many students as possible in identifying their needs and assessing opportunities and will encourage students to come forward and engage in dialogue about activities, feedback, and improvement within the university.
The concept of student leadership itself is deeply connected to the interactions, ideas and beliefs of the students, and to the boundaries of time, place and circumstance. Therefore, it is not only the personality of the leader, but also the enthusiasm and commitment of everyone amongst the students that bring stability and momentum necessary to sustain the efforts of the student body. We need student leaders to fill the communication gap between students and the university management, but we also need them to enact the vision and values of the university.
Voting opens next week, you can find out more about voting for your President, Education Officer, Equality Officer, Community Officer and Activities officer here.