By Robert “Chaos” Durborow
Associate Student Representative, Far Western Region
Southern Utah University, Cedar City, UT
The first rule, as my dear old dad drilled into me from birth (a minor exaggeration…but not much), is: pay attention. These two words have served me well over the years, but no more so than when I decided to run for Associate Student Representative (ASR) of the Far Western Region two years ago. The advantages of a position in student leadership are many; let me tell you about some of my favorites.
Any opportunity to serve sits well with me. My father, the greatest man I know, always gave service wherever he noticed a need. Pop infected me with the same service bug in my early youth. I still have it and I’m not looking for a cure.
What does this have to do with serving as ASR? In my two years as ASR, I have met some of the most amazing people I will ever know. Moreover, I have made lifelong friends, an appellation I never bestow lightly. The Sigma Tau Delta family is a close knit group, but none are closer than your leadership. We serve because we believe in the Society and what it stands for. I bear witness that your leaders are of the finest character, have a passion for literature and service, and exhibit the highest standards of academic excellence. For us, it’s all about the words and promoting literacy. It is my honor to serve with them.
Perhaps the highest point of my tenure as a student leader began at last year’s annual convention in Portland. I was able to host, introduce, and spend quality time with my literary idol, Ursula K. LeGuin. I have been reading works by Ursula since I was seven, and she has influenced my writing more than any other author. For a more detailed account of this amazing experience, please see my previous blog on the subject, The Dream of Chaos and Old Night.
The postscript is that Ursula and I have become dear friends since our initial meeting. I send her my poor excuses for poems on a regular basis, and she is kind enough to pronounce them worthy. We inquire after each other’s activities and health as if we’ve known each other all our lives. I have achieved a dream I could not even imagine because I paid attention and took the opportunity to serve.
I’m not saying you will have the same experience as a student leader…but it’s possible. So why not pay attention to the opportunity to serve that lies before you? Apply for one of the many leadership positions open right now. There are certainly less worthy ways to spend your time.