Get involved: Leadership workshops,
student orgs open doors to future
By Billi London-Gray
You hear it in University Seminar, read it on posters around campus and see it daily on the Quad: There are many ways to get involved at Texas State. Check out two events this week, designed to help you find your place on campus — the Student Organizations Fair and a free communication workshop offered by the Texas State Leadership Institute.
Finding a student organization that suits your personal interests, goals and level of time commitment may take a bit of searching, but Texas State’s Student Organizations Council can help you find the perfect fit. This week, SOC will host the Student Organizations Fair, bringing together campus organizations — more than 80 of Texas State’s 300 orgs have registered for this fair — in one place so students can browse for groups that match their majors, embrace their values and hobbies, or lead them in new directions. Stop by the event Tuesday, Jan. 31, and Wednesday, Feb. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom.
In addition to tchotchkes at the fair, students organizations dole out opportunities. According to a recent study, getting involved in student organizations develops social and leadership skills, improves satisfaction with the overall college experience, and is linked to higher GPAs and success finding a job after college.
Leadership skills gained from campus activities are especially important, because the same attributes that make a good leader also make a student attractive to an employer. To cultivate student leaders and help them gain these skills, the Dean of Students Office coordinates the Leadership Institute, a free program open to all students. Find out if leadership appeals to you by attending the institute’s first free workshop of the semester, Effective Communication: Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say, on Thursday, Feb. 2, from 5-7 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center, room 3-3.1.
Dr. Richard Cheatham — a communication expert, Texas State faculty member and former dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication — will lead the workshop, covering topics such as:
- Overcoming fears when speaking in front of others
- Speaking efficiently and clearly to diverse audiences
- Understanding how to read an audience
“Dr. Cheatham is an incredible presenter with a passion for students and teaching,” says Laramie McWilliams, assistant coordinator of the Leadership Institute. She adds that the workshop is designed for students “at all levels of leadership: emerging, established and advanced.”
Even you aren’t looking to become a leader, right away, attending the workshop will provide more information about the benefits of campus involvement plus valuable insights about communication applicable to all fields of study.
“Communication skills are basic, foundational skills that are vital to everyone, not just student leaders or people who consider themselves leaders,” McWilliams says. “Virtually every area of life utilizes communication and leadership skills.”
Students should register for the workshop online in advance. Walk-ins also will be accepted the day of the workshop. Students interested in participating in the Leadership Institute’s Emerging Leaders Track or Established Leaders Track can learn more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.