Vince Sawyer, RHA Vice President
You post an 18 minute video, you get an 18 minute response
There’s a bunch of sales mumbo-jumbo that annoyed me a little, but it has nothing to do with our group, so I won’t bring any of that up. This is what I saw that had real impact for me and how it relates to my growth as a person through the last decade or so: The content of our actions or messages is nothing if it isn’t supported internally
At 14 I had my first public speaking opportunity during a debate for English class. After a powerful speech on Capital Punishment, I used a stick figure drawing in a chair to rouse a laugh from the class. After I lost the debate by a single point, I was told by the teacher that I would have won if I hadn’t shown the drawing. My speech was the stronger of the two, but my reliance on comedy (to relieve nervousness) took away from the seriousness reflected in my message.
I was joking around with a few friends on my floor last semester, and I did a little joke about the calorie content in water. It ended with me slamming the bottle in disgust, and everyone burst out into laughter. A few minutes later several other residents walked by and I started going into the same rant. This time I realized some people had already seen my attempt at joking. Feeling a little silly/insecure, I didn’t put the same feeling into the second attempt. I got a few chuckles, but more people made the observation, “You did it alot funnier the first time.” I allowed my internal thoughts to affect my action and passion, and it was easy to see how the result was not as successful.
During group discussions in RHA, I often feel as though my opinions are only a small part of the group dynamic. Although I often want to remain silent and hear everyone else, I usually end up speaking first, speaking as if I believe 100% that I am absolutely right, and speaking last as well. While I usually have little confidence in my ideas, I express them strongly. I believe this passion and confidence is what makes people respect and consider my suggestions.
As student leaders at IUP, we set the bar for what a well-rounded, strong member of a community looks like. When we aren’t passionate and confidence in our roles as student leaders, it isn’t only seen by others–it is felt subconciously by the students observing our behavior and actions. We must be focused on why we are role models in our student community before we can figure out how to fulfill the role of a student leader, otherwise our lack of motivating force will influence the students we hope to guide, grow, and develop into the next generations of student and community leaders– before, during, and after their college experience.
Adam Friedman, RHA Secretary
While I understand the premise of what he is trying to say, I believe we do that every day . As student leaders we don’t do what we do because its flashy or popular, we do what we do because we believe win what we’re doing, presenting a voice for the students that live in the residence halls.
if we don’t believe in the why, then we can’t do our jobs as effectively and it shows in our ability to carry out the what and how. If we don’t believe in the why, then (in my humble opinion) we don’t deserve the positions we hold!
Tiffany Bartlett, RHA President
I believe that we already follow this theory very similarly. We are always challenging ourselves to understand why we do what we do. I agree with Adam when he said “If we don’t believe in the why, then we can’t do our jobs as effectively.” And that, I feel is the most important. We have to be onboard for WHY we are doing such and such an event, and we have to believe in it with our whole heart. It is our job as RHA to represent the residential students to the best of our abilities, and it should be because we believe in what we are doing and we want to help be the voice of our students, not just because being an executive board member of an organization looks good on a resume.
Chris Weiss, RHA Advisor
I completely agree with Vinny, Adam, and Tiffany’s points! (and therefore won’t reiterate the same ideas).
Aside from those great responses, here is my biggest takeaway in regards to RHA. Remember this quote? “[Martin Luther King] gave the ‘I have a Dream’ speech, not the ‘I have a Plan’ speech.” I’m glad you all understand that you are leaders in RHA because you believe in the Why, now we all just need to ensure that every message we send out to your residents starts with the Dream, not the Plan.
And my favorite quote, that I use quite often: “There are leaders, and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority. Those who lead inspire us. We follow those who lead not because we have to, but because we want to. Not for them, but for ourselves. It’s those who start with Why that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them.”