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Leadership class may be required for FAU Student Government officers


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Associate Dean of Students Terry Mena told the UP that LDR 2010 may become a requirement for Student Government Officers.

Associate Dean of Students Terry Mena told the UP that LDR 2010 may become a requirement for Student Government Officers.

Starting next semester, students hoping to join FAU’s Student Government could be made to take a leadership class — and pay for it.

The current requirements include maintaining a 2.7 GPA (for students holding a high office, such as that of the President)  and being a degree-seeking student with 6 credit-hours (as per Regulation 4.006), but a mandatory for-credit course may soon be added to that list. SG Adviser Ryan Frierson first told the Boca Raton House of Representatives about the new requirement on April 19. LDR 2010 is a single-credit class that was introduced last fall.

“Introduction to Leadership,” is described as a course that “exposes students to the basic foundation of leadership and its application to college experiences in student leadership roles,” according to the course registration catalogue.

The curriculum for LDR 2010 was taken from one compiled by the University of Maryland’s Dr. Susan Komives, and is already taught at several universities nationwide, according to FAU’s Associate Dean of Students, Terry Mena. At other public Florida universities, such as UF, UCF, and FIU, students are not required to take any class for their student governments, according to the editor in chiefs of those schools student newspapers.

The LDR curriculum is “the best-practiced at many universities across the country,” Mena said. Resident Assistants and Orientation Leaders are already required to take this course. LDR 2010 became required for RAs and Orientation Leaders on campus last fall, according to Mena.

“So now what we’re looking at is a ‘Phase II’ of implementation where we’re now broadening that to provide it as an opportunity to Student Government leaders across the SG program,” Mena said. “[It] would allow us an opportunity to have a very basic framework of commonalities and common languages that we want to have around the topic of leadership … I think that’s really important.”

Some members of Student Government, however, are none too pleased with the prospect of this course becoming mandatory.

“My take on it is that it should be taken on a case-by-case basis…” House Pro-Tempore Langston Wimberly said at the April 19 House meeting. “Just in case a student is not capable of paying for that class. They shouldn’t be forced to pay for it, they don’t have the means to provide for that class. Other than that, I think it’s a great idea to help prepare students to be future leaders.”

House Speaker Jaclyn Broudy agrees with Wimberly.

“I don’t believe that students should have to pay for a course, and as it is, students have enough difficulty paying for courses that they have to take that are required, so I don’t think [it’s] fair for students to have to take a course to hold a leadership position.”

“I don’t think it’s beneficial in any way,” House Representative Nadine Aly said. “It hinders membership…because you want your voice to be heard, you can’t, because you haven’t taken the course.”

Currently, the LDR requirement for SG would not take effect until this fall, and would start with SG officers like the Student Body President and Campus Governors. Whether or not unpaid students in SG would also be required to take the class was unclear.

“We’re in conversations around that because those are volunteer positions, so we’re talking through that process now,” Mena said.

Whether the class would have to be paid for out-of-pocket by SG members — or if SG members will be reimbursed for taking the course — is also undecided.

“I don’t think we’re specifically there yet, but the premise is we do have in the University Regulations, a section that talks about training that required to hold our positions,” Mena said. “That’s where we’re tying that in. That’s a conversation that we are still discussing.”

SG House Representative Renata Glebocki thinks the new requirement could limit SG’s representation of the entire student body.

“I think that’s a disadvantage to a lot of students, and the House of Representatives is supposed to be representative of the students,” Glebocki said. “It’s not going to be representative of students with a low income, who need to rely on financial aid in order to take classes.”

[In a previous version of this story, the UP reported that students in Student Government must have a 2.7 GPA (regardless of office), and that students in Student Government must be taking 12 credit-hours. This has since been corrected.]

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