Friday, November 20, 2009

Getting Involved: Leadership On Campus

It's time to get involved

For our first issue this semester, we opted to focus on campus involvement. Our previous issues had a more "out of Binghamton" focus (i.e. world leadership and pop culture). We felt that it would be a good idea to get information out there on how the incoming students (and no so new students) could get their foot in the water. I know that during my freshman year I had a lot of trouble finding the right activities to get involved in and determining which organizations I could join in order to develop myself as an individual and a leader. This issue is geared towards those people who aren't familiar with the resources at Binghamton University because they are new to the school or simply haven't had the opportunity to explore what this campus has to offer.

Several posts below this include a preview of the different articles that will be published in this issue of the magazine.


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  3. Personal Leadership Responsibility
    By Sarah Lee
    You got elected to the position… Now what? What do you do now?
    After you’ve finally found a student organization that you want to dedicate your time and efforts to as a leader, you’re left with somewhat of a mind boggling question: What do I do now? As a leader, you may want to create goals for yourself and further develop as a leader. Since you applied for the position as a leader, you may want to expand and accomplish your goals while you hold the position. When you become a leader of an organization, it’s crucial to prioritize your responsibilities, making your leadership position a high priority as well.
    Personally, when I was elected as an e-board member for Korean American Student Association, I had my own goals and visions on how I wanted to develop the organization. As the cultural chair of my organization, I am assigned to direct Korean Banquet, the major cultural event of the fall semester and Korean coffeehouse, a cultural event for the spring semester. I had my vision of how I wanted Korean Banquet and Korean Coffeehouse to be a huge success this year. As a leader, I wanted to change and improve these events in order to enlighten Binghamton University of Korean-American culture. Moreover, as an e-board member, I wanted to hear the general body members’ views and feedback. Since they were the ones who elected me, I wanted to assure them that I will work to my fullest potential to cater to their needs. I definitely enjoy working with the other leaders of KASA as well and I want to continue to make positive changes within this organization. So don’t be afraid to step up and make changes! The work and effort is all worth it if you’re working for an organization you are passionate about.

  4. Over-Involved
    By Viktorija Balsys-Spencer
    When I first came to Binghamton as a freshman, I expected to instantly fall in love with college. I had longed for the freedom of living away from home for years and thought that this alone would make my experience a happy one. I came to school and found that I actually missed high school and all the fantastic friends I had made there. I was stuck with a really terrible roommate who couldn’t take her nose out of a textbook for more than five minutes which was the opposite of who I was—a really social person. I remember that I had read somewhere that freshmen who get involved in different campus organizations during their first year are more likely to return for their sophomore year to the same school. I didn’t want to transfer schools without giving Binghamton the chance it deserved so I decided to join some extracurricular groups.
    I first got involved by running for a Hall Government position in my building. I ran against one opponent and won the position of Vice President of Finance for Johnson Hall. This commitment meant going to 1 hour weekly e-board meetings, 1 or more hours of weekly community wide meetings, as well as extra time put into planning and running programs. Being a part of my hall’s e-board taught me a lot about myself and my leadership style and I realized that learning and teaching others about leadership was something I was passionate about. With that, I decided to apply to be an XCEL Leadership Consultant (XLC). I remember getting an email over Thanksgiving break saying that I was accepted and how excited I was. This commitment meant having several office hours every week, biweekly XLC meetings, as well as biweekly group meetings for the Workshops Team that I was a part of.
    Even with both these commitments, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. Until I was in love with Binghamton, I felt like I had to get more and more involved. My next step was to try getting involved in different sports which led to my joining and quitting Crew, Co-Rec Football, and Gymnastics all within the first two months of school.
    By the end of the year, I had joined Binghamton’s Food Co-op as a volunteer. In the spring, I was accepted as a coordinator for the following year. I was also voted to be the Vice President of Finance for the group. I loved my experience of VP of Finance for my residence hall so I decided to run for the same position in Sophomore Class Council. Furthermore, I planned to continue all my commitments from Freshman Year, even though the hours that I spent at these activities totaled more hours a week than my classes alone.
    Now as a junior, I’ve learned how to prioritize my commitments and do what I really care about. I’ve discovered that loving my school wasn’t going to be determined by how many groups I was a member of. Loving Binghamton happened when I declared a major, found teachers that inspired me, learned about the neighborhood and everything the community has to offer and only sticking to extracurricular activities that I do either for enjoyment or to grow from. I’m still the VP of Finance for the Food Co-op and now, Junior Class Council but I don’t overextend myself by being commited to a million other groups. What I regret the most is jumping so quickly to get involved that I didn’t take the time to really think about what I wanted and what would make me happy. I wish that I had found a sport I loved and made the time to stick through it. I wish that I was good enough at a sport to (continued on page 17) (continued from page 16) play regularly. My solution to that was joining co-rec soccer which gives me an hour a week to relax and do something just for myself. Taking the time to find what makes me happy and committing to only those things are what make me love Binghamton now. My advice to others is to find what you love to do at Binghamton and commit to it. Make sure that you are not overextending yourself too much, because remember you need to have some balance and fun in your life too!