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College Student Leadership

Exploration of College Student Leadership: A Case Study of Student Clubs and Organizations at the University of the Pacific Jinrui Zhang University of the Pacific EDUC 352 Nov.1st, 2013

College Student Leadership

Exploration of College Student Leadership: A Case Study of Student Clubs and Organizations at the University of the Pacific Student leaders play an important role in American colleges and universities. They are a group of young, energetic, competent and thoughtful students on campus, doing students-serving-students work, adding vitality and creativity to campus life. Nowadays, student leadership has become a popular research topic. When searching student leader or student leadership on Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), 1,285 peer-reviewed articles show up. When inputting college student leadership on Google Scholar, the author finds about 1,710,000 articles related to the topic. Leadership and Leaders Many scholars propose different definitions of leadership and leaders. For a majority of Americans, leadership conveys meaning and becomes incantation beyond normal everyday use (Gardner, 1986). The typology of transformational and transactional leadership is proposed. That is, effective leaders transact with their subordinates on a basis of rewards and incentives, but sometimes they also transform them (Burns, 1978). Heifetz combines what Burns and Gardner have stated and proposes that leaders are people who mobilize followers to do adaptive work and to solve their own problems (1994). Besides, There are three ways to look at leaders and leadership. First, leaders respond to an idea of the unknown future and there is no uniform leadership mode. Second, leaders get prepared for the future by supporting and creating the capacity for change. Third, leaders take part in organized learning and look at collective or collaborative leadership that helps in the capacity for change (Hilliard, 2010). What is

College Student Leadership

more, Student Leadership Development (SLD) at the Pacific addresses the concept of responsible leadership from five aspects: First, leadership can be developed. Second, leadership occurs inclusively among diverse members of groups. Third, leaders are most effective when a core set of competencies is mastered. Fourth, leadership involves building an independent identity. Fifth, responsible leadership is a function of leadership identity development and leadership competence development. A lot of previous research articles focus on relationships between leaders and subordinates. Leaders are not independent actors. Instead, they both shape and are shaped by their subordinates or members (Gardner, 1989; Simmel, 1950; Heifetz & Linsky, 2002). Only getting a majority of subordinates favor can leaders establish a new goal or plan (Cleveland, 1985). After leaders take actions, the members responses have an impact on the leaders ability to take next steps (Murphy, 1985). Gardner brings a cognitive perspective to his anatomy of leadership and further deconstructs leadership, believing that leaders and members are in dynamic (1995). There are still some studies related to characteristics of good leaders. Good leaders attach great importance to their goals or plans and to the members who make efforts towards them. Another characteristic is the ability to establish trust and build relationships (Bennis & Nanus, 2007; Kotter, 1988; Maccoby, 1981). Honesty ranks first on a list of traits that people expect from leaders (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). In addition, some research deals with gender and leadership. Women bring a female advantage to leadership. They hold that modern organizations need the leadership role women play, including care for people, cultivation and willingness to share information (Helgesen, 1990; Rosener, 1990). However, some evidence suggests that

College Student Leadership

from the perspective of their subordinates, men and women who are in comparable positions are more the same than different (Carless, 1998; Komives, 1991). In this paper, the author concerns with dimensions of student leadership through the Pacifics definition of responsible leadership in order to see how students perform their leadership on campus. College Student Leadership in the United States Many previous studies reveal the popularity and importance of student leadership in American colleges. Leadership development activities including formal (e.g., pursuit of a Master of Education), nonformal (e.g., workshops) and informal (e.g., on-the-job experience) help to the development of personal, interpersonal and organizational capacity (Catalfamo, 2010). The degree is investigated, to which strengths ownership, psychological capital (PsyCap) qualities of hope, self-efficacy, optimism and resiliency, as well as demographic characteristics of gender, college class level, leadership experience and strengths experience are predictive of effective leadership practices as defined by the Leadership Challenge model (Wisner, 2011). The experiences of leaders of college student government associations that represent students needs are related to faculty and administrators, and through involved in student organizations, college and university students obtain leadership skills and become engaged with the campus community (Miles, 2011). Student leaders need to demonstrate effective time management, show goal-setting ability, build positive relationships with their members, use effective conflict-resolving skills, show an interest in helping others to build their leadership skills, become involved in community action programs and promote understanding and respect across racial and ethnic groups. It is of great importance to

College Student Leadership

engage students broad interests and to clearly explain the role, purpose and mission of student governance units so that student leaders can perform effective leadership (Miles et al., 2008). The role of adult student voice, student leadership and student organization is essential to changing conditions that either deny or impair the educational opportunities for millions of people in the U.S. and even billions around the world (Greene, 2006). Leisure time activities play a vital role in cultivation of college students leadership behavior (Sethi, 2009). Students at a large and research-extensive university participated in voluntary short-term leadership programs, showing an increase in leadership capacity and suggesting that training fosters a more integrated understanding of leadership (Rosch & Caza, 2012). Leadership capacity is affected by the mentorship process and the type of mentors such as faculty, staff, employers and peers (Campbell et al., 2012). Their study informs best practices in mentoring for student leadership development by focusing on who does the mentoring and how the mentoring process proceeds. First-year college student can become aware of leadership and perceive influences on leadership (Shehane et al., 2012). The role of peer leaders in student services has evolved over time. Nowadays, student leaders play a critical role in college experience, particularly in orientation and residence life (Ganser & Kennedy, 2012). There is still other evidence displaying college student leadership from different perspectives. Student leaders with LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) identity exert an impact on college campus activities, both positive and negative (Renn & Bilodeau, 2005). The experiences of student leaders of color with the themes of disdain for the label of leaders, the personal costs of holding leadership positions, the different experiences in predominantly White, multiracial or same-race groups, group loyalty over

College Student Leadership

individual needs, gender differences in leadership experiences as well as lack of campus staff and faculty role models are explored (Arminio et al., 2000). It is of an additive value to include measures of collective racial esteem (CRE) above and beyond simple indicators of racial group membership, to demonstrate the importance of disaggregating data to provide a more complex picture of the influences of race on leadership development and to inform educators' abilities to better aim leadership interventions to meet a diverse range of college students developmental needs (Dugan et al., 2012). Student Clubs and Organizations Given that the author tends to explore student leadership within student clubs and organizations, it is necessary to take a review of them. There is no obvious distinction between student clubs and student organizations. They usually go together. The student organizations on campus enrich the social, cultural and educational experiences of Stanford students, influence the larger University community and enhance the overall diversity at Stanford (Stanford Student Organizations). With many clubs and student organizations, UCLA is a mosaic of culture and activity (UCLA Clubs, Organizations & Recreation). We provide many opportunities for students to develop leadership skills and provide real service to the community (UCDavis Student Clubs). Student organizations are a fantastic way to get involved on campus. They are a great way to make an impact on your campus life and community, develop new skills and hone skills learned in the classroom, meet friends with similar interests (Arizona State University Student Organizations). The following definitions of student clubs and organizations are based on the Holy Names University, which emphasizes empowering a diverse student body for

College Student Leadership

leadership and service in a complex world. A student club is any student-driven group that is formally recognized by a college or university. Student clubs are funded partially or totally by the college or university through funding provided to its Associated Students. Student clubs must be open for membership to all college or university students. Students and advisors involved in student clubs must conform to all institutional polices and regulations. A student organization is any group or program at a college or university that exists primarily for students and is formally recognized by the college or university. Student organizations are funded partially or totally by the college or university and individuals involved in student organizations are responsible to policies and guidelines established by the college or university as well as external agencies, as appropriate and in some cases, required. Student organizations are eligible to request funding from the Associated Students of the college or university. Students and advisors involved in student organizations must conform to all institutional polices and regulations. Even though the Holy Names University provides a definition for the student club and the student organization respectively, the author finds that they are similar. Both of them provide opportunities for leadership and involvement that contribute to the total educational experience of students while promoting student development and enriching the campus community. For this reason, the author intends to conduct the research without particularly categorizing which are clubs or organizations at the Pacific. Conclusion One way to continually improve students ability is to participate in school activities and events. Clubs and organizations with their real-world and practical

College Student Leadership

experiences are a great resource for experiences that are essential to a successful education outside of classrooms. Currently, student leaders play a major role on campus. Improving their leadership skills and increasing their leadership capacity appear significantly important not only to enrich college students campus life but also to build up their own professional and social development. In this paper, the author raises the research question: What are student leaders traits and how do they perform effective leadership within their clubs and organizations at the University of the Pacific?

College Student Leadership

References Arizona State University Student Organizations. http://asu.orgsync.com/home. Retrieved on Oct. 23, 2013. Arminio, J. L., Carter, S., Jones, S. E., Kruger, K., Lucas, N., Washington, J., Young, N., Scott, A. (2000). Leadership experiences of students of color. NASPA Journal (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Inc.), 37(3), 496-510. Bolman, Lee G., & Deal, Terrence E. (2013). Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership, Edition 5. John Wiley & Sons. Burns, James M. (1978). Leadership. HarperCollins. Campbell, C. M., Smith, M., Dugan, J. P., & Komives, S. R. (2012). Mentors and college student leadership outcomes: The importance of position and process. Review of Higher Education, 35(4), 595-625. Catalfamo, H. (2010). An examination of leadership development in colleges. Educational Planning, 19(3), 8-31. Dugan, J. P., Kodama, C. M., & Gebhardt, M. C. (2012). Race and leadership development among college students: The additive value of collective racial esteem. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 5(3), 174-189. Ganser, S. R., & Kennedy, T. L. (2012). Where it all began: Peer education and leadership in student services. New Directions for Higher Education, (157), 17-29. Gardner, Howard. (1995). Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership. Basic Books. Greene, D. (2006). Against the tide: The role of adult student voice, student leadership and student organisation in social transformation International Council for Adult

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Education. Heifetz, Ronald A. (1994). Leadership Without Easy Answers. Harvard University Press. Helgesen, Sally. (1990). The female advantage: women's ways of leadership. Doubleday Currency. Hilliard, A. T. (2010). Student leadership at the university. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 7(2), 93-97. Holy Names University Student Clubs and Organizations. http://www.hnu.edu/studentLife/Studentclubsandorganizations.html. Retrieved on Oct. 21, 2013. Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2007). The leadership challenge (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Miles, J. M. (2011). Reflections of student government association leaders: Implications for advisors. College Student Journal, 45(2), 324-332. Miles, J. M., Miller, M. T., & Nadler, D. P. (2008). Student governance: Toward effectiveness and the ideal. College Student Journal, 42(4), 1061-1069. Renn, K. A., & Bilodeau, B. L. (2005). Leadership identity development among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender student leaders. NASPA Journal (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Inc.), 42(3), 342-367. Rosch, D. M., & Caza, A. (2012). The durable effects of short-term programs on student leadership development. Journal of Leadership Education, 11(1), 28-48. Rosener, Judy B. (1990). Ways Women Lead. Harvard Business School. Sethi, P. (2009). Leadership behaviour of college students in relation to their leisure time activities in college life. Lovely Institute of Education.

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Shehane, M. R., Sturtevant, K. A., Moore, L. L., & Dooley, K. E. (2012). First-year student perceptions related to leadership awareness and influences. Journal of Leadership Education, 11(1), 140-156. Stanford Student Organizations. http://www.stanford.edu/dept/uga/student/organizations/. Retrieved on Oct. 23, 2013. Student Leadership Development (SLD). http://www.pacific.edu/Campus-Life/StudentServices/Student-Leadership-Development.html. Retrieved on Oct. 21, 2013. UCDavis Student Clubs. http://admissions.ucdavis.edu/about/student_life/clubs.cfm. Retrieved on Oct. 23, 2013. UCLA Clubs, Organizations & Recreation. http://www.ucla.edu/campus-life/clubsorganizations-and-recreation. Retrieved on Oct. 23, 2013. Wisner, M. D. (2011). Psychological strengths as predictors of effective student leadership. Christian Higher Education, 10(3), 353-375.