Participate, but don’t forget what is important

The freshmen class of 2014 already has a lot to brag about by bringing Florida A&M University the largest enrollment rate the school has ever seen. But with freshmen elections approaching, we can only hope they don’t lose sight of their studies.

As the newest addition to the student body prepares to scour the campus for votes, it is imperative they do not lose sight of why we are at FAMU in the first place; our education.

 As a junior at FAMU, I have seen a number of great leaders emerge and take initiative on behalf of the university. As time goes by and faces change, we as a student body are challenged with producing more leaders who are willing to progress the welfare of students and perpetuate FAMU’s namesake.  

As an incoming freshman, it is crucial to understand the importance of academic achievement early on in your college career.  If you truly want to be an effective student leader, then you must first be an effective student.  Everything else will fall into place afterwards.

By being elected to office, you have in, essence, signed a contract.  Your platform has promised certain things to your class and now you must uphold those undertakings.  But this responsibility goes far beyond simply listening to the needs and wants of your peers.  It transcends into embodying what FAMU represents, not only as a leader but also as a student. 

Too often, young adults come to the Hill ready to be president or attendant of their class.  They fail, however, to acknowledge whether they can actually handle such a responsibility while still maintaining their school work.  Take the time to really get to know your teachers and what they expect from you. After you’ve done that, you can then research the position you want to run for and make an educated and responsible decision on whether or not it is in your best interest to have it.

As a member of the Student Government Association and the president of the 40th Student Senate, I encourage everyone to explore the roles of leadership on our campus and find out what they can do.   I am sure that during your exploration you will see that not all student leaders hold an actual position on campus. 

If you truly have the desire to lead, all you need to know is who you are leading, what goal you want to accomplish and how you plan to make it happen.  Once you’ve figured that out, you have found the key to being an effective leader.  Titles are merely a formality.

So with a new year and opportunities, let’s strive to be a body of leaders all in our own right. Let’s reshape the face of leadership. Regardless of who is in what position, we all have the ability to yield results and spread the good news about FAMU. More importantly, we must never neglect our academics, which is what brought us here to begin with.