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What It Takes To Be a Student Leader


With more than 400 clubs and multiple programs at the University of North Georgia, there are many leadership opportunities for students.

Leading a club as a president or a hall as a resident assistant (RA) is a big time commitment. Chelsea Reed, a senior business management major says, “As an RA, I would say I devote 15-20 hours weekly depending on what is going on.”

To devote the time needed, many student leaders say they have honed their time management skills. Julia Skala, a senior education major says, “You have to be an organized person. I was an OL [orientation leader] and I am currently the RHA [Resident Hall Association] president. It took me a while to understand the concept of organization and planning.”

“I think it takes someone who has a clear vision of their role and is willing to step out of their comfort zone and find members. Someone who is comfortable then communicating that vision to those members and making them excited to be part of the bigger picture. It can be tiring, so it takes a student who truly believes in that vision and is willing to put the time and effort in to see it succeed – tenacity to be honest. It’s a balance as well though. They have to know when they can push their members to try something new and when not to overwhelm their group.” – Bryan Dawson, a professor of psychological science and Tabletop Gaming Club staff advisor

RHA Masquerade

Student leaders say they feel that being dedicated and passionate about what you’re doing is what it takes to fill the role. Maddox Newell, Tabletop Gaming Club president and sophomore cyber security major says, “I think that to truly be a student leader you must care about what you are doing, no matter what it may be, and that you must be devoted in your pursuit of that.”

Some student leaders also say that being a leader means representing the school or organization to some degree. Dacie Kohn, social media ambassador and sophomore criminal justice major says, “I feel like I need to conduct myself in a professional, positive and friendly way more so than usual. Especially on campus when in the presence of faculty, staff and students.”

“I get to do what I love with the people that I love and they care about what we do just as much as I do and I wouldn’t change that for the world.”- Maddox Newell, social media ambassador

Newell says the work put into being a student leader doesn’t go unrewarded, often leading to social and professional growth. This allows you to meet all types of people from the university. Newell says, “The best part of being a student leader is honestly the friends and community I have been a part of growing. I have never felt more proud and happy with the people that I have come to know and love because of my position.”

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