LEAD program revises model of operations

Campus Times
February 16, 2001

photo by Lauren Wooding

Brian MorganArmstrong, director of Student Leadership Development and Transition Programs, has been in charge of the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program since June 2000. The program currently has 107 student participants from different clubs and organizations on campus filling the program's 148 positions.

by Jennifer Contreras
Staff Writer

After 13 years of one model of operations, the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program is changing.

The changes that will begin this upcoming fall, include revising the LEAD scholarship and narrowing the number of recipients. The changes intend to explore genuine leadership skills, and offer a proactive approach toward leadership.

Currently, LEAD is for anyone who is in a position of leadership on-campus. This entails a LEAD scholarship and participating in leadership workshops throughout the year. Members of LEAD include the Associated Students Federation members (ASF), Resident Assistant's and Program Assistant's positions, Orientation Week Leaders (OWLS), Peer Advisory Leaders (PALS), club presidents, and head coordinators for different organizations like KULV and Yearbook. After the changes take effect in the fall, LEAD will be open to all students; current members will not be obligated to be a part of the program, but given the option to utilize it.

"This puts the leadership on the shoulders of the students and clubs. Do they want it? If yes, they can use this program to their advantage," said Brian MorganArmstrong, director of Student Leadership Development and Transition Programs.

The new face of LEAD will be divided into three driving components. The first component is the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). Currently the ELP is loosely affiliated with LEAD and is only offered to freshmen. ELP builds basic leadership skills and prepares freshman to hold leadership positions. With the upcoming changes, the ELP will officially be a part of the LEAD program and will be offered to all students.

The second component is the Landis Leadership Scholars (LLS). Named after the donor, alumni Richard Landis, the LLS will focus on leadership theory and application. Students will go through an application process to be involved.

"We are trying to make it a class, so that the students involved could receive credit for it. With this we get a genuine attitude toward leadership and more accountability to the scholarship, which can reach up to $5,000," said MorganArmstrong. Applications for the LLS will be available this semester.

The last component is an un-named training program. This program will include three programs; the first is administrative-sponsored seminars that focus on leadership skills for clubs and organizations in areas like parliamentary procedure and group dynamics.

The second aspect of this program will coordinate adviser training. This will focus on advisers of clubs and organizations and advise them on how to advise, and to share experiences.

The last aspect of this program is a volunteer board of students. This group will focus on what types of leadership should be pursued by students at ULV.

"Something they might do is organize a group of students to go to a city council meeting, or bringing speakers on leadership on campus. This is not to replace ASF, but to explore leadership," said MorganArmstrong.

Currently there are 107 members of LEAD holding 148 leadership positions on campus. With the new changes, the figures may change.

"If people really want to be involved, they will do it, regardless of the money, I mean I'm doing it," said junior criminology major, Fiona Carter.

Carter, a RA in Stu-Han and a PAL applicant for next year, said, "I think this change is definitely a positive one. Half of the people that are in LEAD don't even go to the LEAD meetings. I don't think you should get money for it if you don't even participate. Personally, I don't think that the $550 makes that much of a difference, but it definitely is an incentive."

MorganArmstrong said that there is no fear that the figures will change, due to the fact that the scholarship will be lifted.

"A vast majority of the leaders on campus don't choose their involvement based on the pay off," he said.

The fact, that there is a full staff of OWL'S and PAL'S that are engaged in the activity for next year, shows that the absence of the LEAD scholarship did not hinder students from participating in leadership positions.

"I would still be involved, because I'm in it more for the experience than the money. To some people it is an incentive, but it messes up financial aid, so it isn't always a good thing," said junior psychology major Courtney Henderson, Fall 2000 Orientation coordinator, of the scholarship.

Changes in the LEAD program are due to an internal review of the program in addition to a concern raised by the donor of the funds, Richard Landis.

"The scholarship is given by the donor, and after seeing how it was being used currently, he expressed that he would like to see some changes. This forced us to examine the program and consequently change it," said MorganArmstrong.

Recruitment for the new LEAD program will be through advertisement to LEAD students, advisers as well as to the ULV community. This entails flyers, booths and other forms of advertising.

"I'm really excited about the opportunities this new program provides for students.

Those who want to get involved can be as involved as much as they want to and those who want a more thorough experience have many options," MorganArmstrong said. "I'm excited to run something that works with our student leaders in a program that is fluid and responsive to their needs."