We (Student Leadership & Involvement) support student well-being and success by providing inclusive and equitable spaces for student advocacy and engagement. We strive to help students become the core of their learning experiences through co-created leadership and involvement opportunities that cultivate a sense of belonging and empower personal growth and development.
Student Leadership & Involvement is a values-driven department. These values inform our work with student and our identity as Student Affairs Professionals. These values were created in 2019, as a collaborative effort among full-time staff.
Our department values each member of the team and the unique skillsets and strengths they bring to our work. We find ways to support one another in the process by offering assistance, communicating openly and frequently, resolving conflicts, and celebrating our successes and those of our students. In addition, we harness our strengths to form partnerships across campus and in the community that facilitate the development, growth, and leadership of all students. We work with these partners to provide high-quality programs with integrity and mindfulness of shared fiscal resources and human capital.
We seek to promote ethical progress through innovation that reflects student success, academic achievement, process improvement, and professional and social development. We acknowledge that traditional ways of engaging students may not best sever each new generation of students. In an increasingly diverse and ever-changing campus, we strive to rethink traditional practices and identify new and innovative ways to provide support and leadership opportunities that prepare students for a collaborative worldview. Additionally, we seek to constantly redefine our standards and goals in a way that inspires creativity and challenges our way of thinking.
It is important to our department that this progress values and facilitates community collaboration. We continually find ways to facilitate the leadership development of all students by meeting students where they are at. Not only do we invite them to join leadership development opportunities, but we also bring these opportunities to them. We also work collaboratively with students to navigate the “involvement process”, knowing that this engagement process will not be the same for everyone and that adjusting our strategies and programs will be a constant as our student population diversifies.
We are committed to modeling integrity in every aspect of our department. We work to create an office culture where students and staff trust each other and are not afraid to provide open, honest, and clear communication (free of politics and mean-spirited gossip). We remain accountable to the university community at large, including the students whose fee supports our department, our Student Affairs collaborators, and all other divisions on campus. This accountability includes transparency of departmental policies and procedures, maintaining a professional demeanor and a positive attitude, remaining hopeful in challenging moments, and an ability to provide and receive constructive feedback. Finally, we provide an environment where students use their conflict resolution skills in a manner that leads to productive outcomes.
We affirm that social justice is an active and ongoing process, and it is our duty and desire to be self-aware. Creating inclusive and equitable space(s) and programs is vital to fostering an engaged and respectful campus community where all folx, including those with marginalized identities, feel a sense of belonging. We educate and empower student leaders to understand more about the students they serve (demographics, background, culture, and more), and to serve these students to the best of their ability regardless of their student leadership role. Additionally, we are committed to engaging in social justice education and training as a professional staff, and also provide these opportunities to our students on a consistent basis. We aim to provide opportunities for students to serve, advocate on behalf of, and collaborate with historically underserved groups, whether or not they hold those identities themselves. We aim to find joy in the “small wins” as well as the “big wins” as we work towards an inclusive campus where all students feel a sense of belonging.
We believe in a holistic approach where students become the core of their learning experiences by providing multiple avenues to enhance engagement, as well as personal and leadership development. With these resources, we empower students to believe in and act upon their abilities to succeed as students and emerging leaders. In addition, we operate from a student-centered approach in all aspects of what we do, whether that is prioritizing service to students, student safety, student development, or access to programs and opportunities.