Being a leader is not about holding power, but about serving and supporting others. This fall, as students get ready to join new organizations, student group leaders must consider their responsibility for the wellbeing of all group members. Responsibility is an essential quality of a compassionate leader. Leaders are responsible for treating all new and existing members with respect and creating safe spaces where members are supported. A compassionate leader is tuned in to the needs and gifts of all group members. This requires actively listening to others and connecting to their needs without judgements or assumptions, and having the courage to act when a fellow student is suffering or is at physical and emotional risk. Additionally, great leaders identify the unique gifts of each member and celebrate them. This creates the basis for trust and long-lasting relationships. When leaders model responsibility, it serves as an example for other students to follow. Students are then able to take responsibility for their own actions and wellbeing, which creates a safe experience for everyone. Vital to the leadership role is to effectively communicate group traditions, values and expectations, and evaluate initiation traditions to ensure they benefit all group members. Leaders should take a fresh look at all traditions to ensure initiation rituals are more compassionate.
Consider how initiation rituals support the desire for belonging and comradery!
Innovate! Launch one new idea supporting this to make your initiation process more amazing!
Develop thoughtful procedures to keep your pledges safe!
Compassionate leaders like you have the power to establish an initiation process that is more positive and meaningful. Make your group an example of a new era of healthy, inclusive and fun rituals.
New Students Must Treat
Themselves with Compassion
Remember that being a leader is not always about holding a formal position. Everyone can be a compassionate leader, make a difference and create positive experiences. All effective leaders begin by defining their own set of values. New students are responsible for establishing their own boundaries and treating others with respect. Practicing compassion begins with honoring your own needs! Meeting new people, trying new things and exploring a new environment can leave you feeling unsettled, so conversations with trusted friends and family can help you define your personal boundaries and stay true to yourself. Then, you must find the courage to communicate these boundaries to the leaders or members of the group or organizations you are trying to join and become a true leader by recognizing and supporting the boundaries of those around you.
Together we say no to hazing and yes to life!