Originally published Jan. 15, 2014

Co-written with editorial board

There are many Grand Valley State University students doing extraordinary things, both while they continue their education and once they graduate and become alumni. Campus Leadership Week gave GVSU community members a chance to recognize the astounding work of these students, and it also provided the less involved students a chance to recognize their own potential.

As was seen throughout the week, many have taken on the responsibility of leading or founding organizations both at GVSU and elsewhere. Others have made a commitment to advancing their fields of study and have demonstrated leadership by investing in research or volunteerism.

Because leadership opportunities are ample and accessible at GVSU, we think it’s necessary for all students to pursue them. Getting involved in campus organizations can be an important first step on the path to becoming a leader. It can motivate students to create a new event for others to enjoy, change an aspect of the environment for the betterment of their peers, or run for an official leadership position on the executive board to help lead meetings and recruit new members.

All of these experiences help develop the leadership qualities that are essential to the Laker persona. We’ve been privileged with a liberal arts education — a liberating education — to expand our minds, challenge our world views, and recognize and address problems. The development of leadership qualities will help us to rise in our respective fields to implement our skills and make a true and lasting difference. It will put us among the ranks of our most impressive alumni, such as the numerous state representatives spearheading movements in Lansing.

Perhaps most importantly, though, it will supply us the qualities needed to pursue true change in the world. We need those with courage, dedication and a vision for social improvements to lead our communities, and GVSU is the place to work on those characteristics.

So to all GVSU students, let this week and the students honored during it serve as a reminder of what your life could be. Take on the challenge of becoming a Laker, and live up to your calling as a member of the GVSU community.


Original publication: http://www.lanthorn.com/article/2014/01/leading-lakers