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OPINION: Student involvement leads to student success


Student Government Association President Jake Hendricks.

Here at Central Michigan University, student involvement drives every aspect of our campus.

Central Michigan Life reports on student issues, the Student Government Association voices student concerns, and groups like the Residence Housing Association and Program Board work to make student life an enjoyable experience. 

As a freshman, I chose to attend CMU because of my involvement with Leadership Camp, an event that brings prospective students to campus and introduces them to what it means to be a CMU student. The values of leadership, community building, and civic engagement are encouraged at our university. 

Students drive recruitment, such as campus ambassadors who represent individual colleges and represent residential colleges to prospective students. Our biggest recruiters are students who are passionate about leadership and want to share that passion with others. 

Throughout my experience here, I have been inspired by many mentors. Some of the most inspirational were those who participated in these programs. I remember when my Leadership Safari Guide demonstrated those values of leadership, community building, and volunteerism. Safari was the hook that got me interested in truly working to make a difference while at CMU.

Our university administration encourages students to become involved. With over 300 Registered Student Organizations (RSOs), we promote all sorts of events, activities, and programs. These RSOs act as an entry point to get involved. Once students are engaged, they develop their skills, run for executive board positions and help make the differences they want to see on campus. 

To any student who is looking to get involved, but doesn’t know where to start, there are student leaders who facilitate a program called Peer Involvement Advisors. They meet with students looking to get involved and connect them with RSOs or opportunities that fit their passions. Not only does this help students gain professional experience, but also meet new friends and develop leadership skills.

It’s no secret that the key to student success at Central Michigan University is becoming involved. We have a saying here at CMU, “Put your stamp on the world." To students that could be interpreted as many things, such as civic engagement, professional development, changing policy at CMU, or joining an RSO. To me, this statement means developing leaders. 

As President of the CMU Student Government Association, my focus is on advocating for those programs that encourage our students to become leaders through student engagement, academic excellence, community service and student representation.