Senior Student Advisor
Omicron Tau Chapter
Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, AR
For the past two years, I have had the opportunity to work with the movers and shakers of Sigma Tau Delta. You may have seen them at various events of the convention, giving speeches, telling jokes, and welcoming students and alumni to a weekend of fun and learning. Many of these wonderful individuals work behind the scenes in the months leading up to the convention, and many of whom include the Student Representatives (SRs) and the Associate Student Representatives (ASRs). As a Student Advisor (SA), it is my job to make myself available to the Student Leaders, who in turn work hard to promote activities within the six national regions.
The main duty of the Student Advisor as a member of the Board of Directors is to represent the student voice. This means that the two SAs attend board meetings and several committees on various aspects of Sigma Tau Delta, including the Student Leadership Committee. According to the Sigma Tau Delta website, “SAs must be full-time student members of active chapters and must be willing advocates for the needs and concerns of the student members of Sigma Tau Delta. The two SAs work together promoting the goals of the Society among its members.”
Each spring during the international convention, the Board of Directors appoints a new Student Advisor, who serves a two-year term. This ensures that, as a senior SA concludes his/her term, there is a rising junior SA to show the new leader the ropes. I found this to be very helpful when I started my position, as I was trained during my first year by the senior SA, Kelsey. Her knowledge of the organization and work ethic helped shape my own vision of my position.
What I learned in the two years of working as Student Advisor is that an enormous amount of work for the organization, including the convention, takes place throughout the year. Since many Board members and student leaders live across the country, most communication takes place through email correspondence and monthly online chats. It can be difficult at times to get everyone on the same page on projects and deadlines when we communicate virtually, but the fall Board meeting helps all the student leaders to get to know each other in person and set goals for the months leading to convention. The SAs work around the clock virtually and in person with SRs, ASRs, and the Central Office, which is both exhausting and rewarding.
If this sounds like the job for you, act fast! Unlike the Student Representative (SR) and Associate Student Representative (ASR) positions, Student Advisor hopefuls must go through a rigorous application process, about which you can find more information here. Although it is by no means an easy position, I’ve learned and grown as a leader and a person through the years; the travel opportunities and personal connections I’ve made with hard-working lovers of language and literature will help me in the future in the working world.