The Temple University Leadership Challenge kicked off with the Student Leadership and Management Conference, held Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Student Center.
The Leadership Challenge was developed by a committee led by Dean of Students Ainsley Carry.
The Leadership Challenge is a way for different organizations on campus to unite through teaching students principles of leadership, committee member Jack Niven, director of Housing and Residential Life, said.
“This program will bring the university together in a way that has never happened before,” Niven said.
Because it was designed entirely by university personnel, the Leadership Challenge was tailored for Temple students.
“We didn’t want to copy and paste,” Carry said. “We wanted to create something that was unique for Temple. The activities are so varied. It’s a menu of different ways to engage in experience, a menu that people can taste and see.”
The curriculum includes academic courses, seminars, service opportunities and leadership conferences. Students who engage in these activities will earn Leadership Diamonds, making them eligible to participate in The LeaderShape Institute, an interactive, six-day experience that serves to build leadership skills.
One of the goals of the Leadership Challenge is to prepare today’s and tomorrow’s leaders, Niven said, adding that students need a specific focus. The initiative is one of many new leadership programs emerging at colleges throughout the country, aimed at helping students develop leadership qualities.
The program will hopefully raise awareness of the impact leaders have on society, Moira Ryder, a member of the committee who works for the Office of Orientation said. According to Ryder, it is crucial for today’s youth to develop leadership qualities.
Students can earn Leadership Diamonds by participating in selected community service projects, such as Alternative Spring Break, Project Mexico and Habitat for Humanity. Leaders of organizations can also earn Leadership Diamonds.
The Leadership Challenge Committee hopes to instill qualities in students that will benefit them here at Temple and for the rest of their lives, said Theresa A. Powell, vice president of Student Affairs and a committee member.
“Every single aspect of your life requires leadership skills,” Powell said. “These folks believe in you as students,” she said to the group of students attending the Student Leadership and Management Conference on Saturday. “Even though we’ve invested a lot of time in this program, I think it is one of the best investments I’ve ever made. If you make a significant investment in us, this will make a significant investment in you.”
The Division of Student Affairs is hoping students will embrace the program immediately, Powell said.
“It’s going to energize the entire campus,” Powell said. “A community of people who value each other, and who value experience. It will give us energy, spirit and purpose.”
For more information on The Temple University Leadership Challenge visit www.temple.edu/studentleadershipchallenge, or call (215) 204-7188.
Leigh Zaleski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.