Last year when I arrived in Minneapolis, MN, for the Sigma Tau Delta 2016 International Convention I remember arguing with myself: Me? In Student Leadership? Sure, I’m a member in my share of honor societies and extracurricular clubs—key word there, “member.” No more than a once or twice a week commitment. My heart was in my throat just seeing the other members vying for the role of Southern Student Representative, but my interest was piqued. I took an application packet and filled it out in my best pencil print, hoping it wouldn’t smudge too terribly.
Left-Right: Amber Jurgenson, Elizabeth Upshur, Heather Williams
What does Sigma Tau Delta Student Leadership entail, you ask? Student Leadership is a committee of six Student Representatives (SR) and six Associate Student Representatives (ASR), each who serve one year terms and are led by two Student Advisors (SA) who serve overlapping two year terms. The most important role of a Student Leader is to represent student voices in their region. During each Student Leader’s term, he or she assists the Central Office as well as Society members in his or her appointed region.
Kevin Brown and Elizabeth at the fall Board meeting.
I can’t imagine what last year would have been like without being a part of Student Leadership. I remember heading back home to Clarksville, TN, full of plans and boundless energy, with the full support of the outgoing Southern SR, Amber Jurgenson; my new incoming ASR, Heather Williams; and our wonderful Southern Regent, Kevin Brown. After my year as Southern SR, I would like to offer five reasons why you should consider running for Student Leadership while at the 2017 Convention in Louisville, KY, March 29-April 1.
1) Become an Important Resource for your Region
My two main goals for my term as SR were to capitalize on evolving social media for communication and showcasing opportunities for members to publish, volunteer, and lead on their respective campuses. I love being a Sigma Tau Deltan, and the opportunity to field questions on how best to apply for our scholarships and other Society opportunities has been unforgettable. I also served members of my region by identifying and disseminating information about literary magazines that were looking for submissions; posting funny literary themed memes on social media; and sharing important Society and literary info in our regional Facebook group.
2) Attend Board Meetings in the Convention City
In September, I had the opportunity to attend the fall Board meeting in Louisville, KY, where my voice could be heard on matters pertaining to my region. The Student Leaders also were each assigned to various committees to help serve the Board. While there, I helped scout Louisville—yes, the city has multiple pronunciations, and any one of them is fine. I had a blast with my fellow SRs finding restaurants and off-site entertainment like live music, theatre, and waterfront trails that would be fun for convention attendees.
3) Hone Your Organizational Skills
Being an SR is not all scouting out new cities and fun monthly web chats with fellow SAs, SRs, and ASRs, though. There is real, nitty gritty work to be done. I collaborated with the other SRs to brainstorm ideas for the annual Student Leadership Service Project and to prepare for the 2017 Convention. As an SR I also wrote blogs for WORDY by Nature. I kept in contact with the Southern Region’s chapters, created a directory to better disseminate information, and compiled regular SR and ASR reports for our Regent, all which helped hone my organizational skills.
4) Sharpen Your Networking and Leadership Skills
My networking skills grew as a result of my time at the Convention running for the Southern SR position, scouting in Louisville, and reaching out for fundraising opportunities. Additionally, working with different teams and committees helped my leadership skills. Being an SR means that some days you delegate and some days you are delegated to. But you’re always working with a team, completing projects for the benefit of every Sigma Tau Deltan.
5) Become a Better Professional
I ran for Student Leadership to make myself a better professional, because I know these skills will be invaluable as a future teacher and mentor. I even earned university internship credit for my work!
So, I have just a few questions for you, my fellow Sigma Tau Deltans. Do you want to grow as a student, and more importantly, as a Society member? Make like-minded literary friends? Spend a year helping your fellow Sigma Tau Deltans and advocating their concerns? Help plan the 2018 Convention? Practice and grow as a writer, and help other members in your region do the same? If so, run for Student Leadership this year!
Join Student Leadership
Student Representative applicants must be Sigma Tau Delta members at a school with an active chapter and must plan on attending a school with an active chapter through the end of their elected one-year term, 2017-2018.
Candidates for the Student Representative (SR) and Associate Student Representative (ASR) will be elected at their regional caucus on March 31. Individuals will assume their offices at the end of the 2017 International Convention.
View: 2017-2018 SR/ASR Application
Do you want to be even more involved with the Society? Student Advisors provide the student voice to the Board of Directors and serve as full voting members of the Board. They also chair the important Student Leadership Committee. Student Advisors must be student members of active chapters for their full 2017-2019 term, and must be willing advocates for the needs and concerns of the student members of Sigma Tau Delta. Together, the two Student Advisors work to promote the goals of the Society among its members. Complete position duties are listed on the Society’s website.
Student Advisor applicants must be Sigma Tau Delta members at a school with an active chapter and must plan on attending a school with an active chapter through the end of their elected two-year term, 2017-2019.
Candidates for the Student Advisor position will be interviewed and appointed by the Board of Directors. Individuals will assume their offices at the end of the 2017 International Convention.
View: 2017-2019 SA Application
Student Representative, Southern Region, 2016-2017
Alpha Zeta Upsilon Chapter
Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN