Lead Weber to promote leadership among students

(Source: Tessa Diamond)

The Weber State University Student Involvement and Leadership organization is trying to make a difference in how people view leadership. The newly formed organization’s main purpose is to highlight and recognize positive leadership within students and organizations on campus.

Led by 2013 Lead Weber chair Aaron Burgin, the team hopes to use techniques such as “lollipop moments,” which allow team members to pass out lollipops to individuals on campus who are exemplifying positive leadership among their fellow students as they see them throughout the day.

“Being a leader just starts with getting engaged with the school,” Burgin said. “So just (be) looking for opportunities . . . start asking questions, start looking around . . . and together we can make a lot of things happen here.”

Tessa Diamond, leadership vice president, is optimistic about the program. She said she feels it will help individuals find out more about their personal styles of leadership.

“We’re trying to pick out the individual leader, so a lot of what we’re doing is finding ways to help people understand how they’re a leader . . . whether it’s loud or quiet, whether it’s part of a big organization or just at home. We’re just trying to help students find out what it means to be a leader to them. We want (Lead Weber) to be a gateway for everyone to try to be a leader.”

Lead Weber already has plans in the works for the coming school year. The team has been talking with the WSU Ambassadors, and is working on an “Amazing Race”-type conference for November, which will help get high-school seniors in student government in the surrounding area involved in leadership.

The team also plans to help bring the silent leaders of campus to the forefront with the help of The Signpost by highlighting positive role models once a month in the campus newspaper. The Signpost, along with newly made clips aimed to teach positive leadership principles on YouTube, add to the Lead Weber team’s push to help remind the student body that leadership is an asset in their individual lives as well as student organizations.

Burgin and Diamond both emphasized that the more students to hear about this initiative, the better.

“I don’t really think of it as recruiting,” Diamond said. “I just kind of think of it as sharing the love.”

This initiative precedes the still-developing leadership minor, which is currently being discussed with the aid of the Student Involvement and Leadership Office and its director, Aaron Newman.

“We can study leadership and teach leadership at the same time,” Burgin said, adding that this new push will present leadership as a study in itself.

“I hope that people understand that leadership itself is used in every aspect of their life,” he said, “in every organization, every business, every industry . . . so people should really recognize that studying leadership and leadership training will put them above and beyond as far as getting a job and getting hired by somebody.”

WSU freshman Nicole Grant said she is excited more is being done on campus to promote leadership. She said her ideal leader is “someone that is responsible and knows the importance of even the most simple task. Someone who is willing to help others and is always trying to improve the lives of fellow students.” About the Lead Weber initiative, she said, “I would say that that’s awesome of them! And I think that might inspire others to take more leadership at Weber.”

Lead Weber hopes to positively impact both individuals and WSU as a whole. As Diamond said, the program’s main goal is to have “a lot of people get interested in themselves — and each other.”