Identifying and Cultivating Student Leaders

Kylie Larson, Higher Ed Marketing Live, Mar 05, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I spent pretty much the my entire university career as a 'student leader' first as a newspaper writer and editor during my undergraduate years, and next as a student association representative and president during my graduate years. I did not experience any "recruiting" efforts in my direction - quite the contrary, actually. I think this points to a difference between the relation between student associations and administrations in Canada and the US (outside North America I simply cannot say, but I imagine one or the other is common). Both student associations and student newspapers appear to be run as part of the university south of the border, while in Canad our associations and newspapers are fiercely independent of administration - so much so that I think it would be a scandal were it to be discovered that student leaders were being "recruited" by the administration. So I personally find this story a bit surprising and off-putting. Students don't need to have admnistrations recruit their leadership - they know who they are.

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