Some of the most valuable learning, which takes place during your Albion College career, will result from your participation in a student organization. Your formal classroom learning will be enhanced as you further explore and test your newly acquired knowledge and expertise in an organizational setting.
Effective leadership is crucial for the success of all student organizations at Albion College. Leadership is most commonly described as a process of influencing the behavior or activity of another person towards the accomplishment of a goal. In student organizations, leaders influence the activities of members toward the attainment of organizational goals. The best Albion College student organizations are those that aim to increase the leadership potential of all their members, not just those holding leadership positions. These groups ensure a strong legacy of leadership that stretches beyond the tenure of current members.
Leadership is a Process
The most successful organizations view leadership as a process that simultaneously evolves as a time consuming, challenging, sometimes stressful, and tremendously rewarding endeavor. It is a process that acknowledges experiential learning as a way to bolster the knowledge and expertise of the group. In other words, learning takes place by “doing” rather than by always relying on someone else “doing” something for the group.
Effective leadership is not always a person who is “in charge.” Leadership in an organization may come from within the group rather than in front of the group. Effective leaders are group members who are willing to do their best at all times. They recognize the importance of being positive role models, demonstrating appropriate behaviors and working styles. They are aware that people will as easily learn the wrong way of doing something as the right. Effective leadership involves taking the time to help every group member learn about and reach his or her leadership potential.
Leaders are always willing to listen, both sensitively and critically. They listen to their peers and to trusted advisors. Listening is one way of determining if all other members of the organization are included in activities. Listening is a critical tool for making the group better.
Student leaders identify a variety of personal characteristics necessary for effective leadership. Among them are: Intelligence, Dependability, Belief in Self, Flexibility, Enthusiasm, Insight, Sense of Humor, Confidence, Positive Attitude, Appreciation for Differences.
Few, if any, people possess all of these characteristics at any one point in their lives, but most leaders are aware of the advantages of developing a positive personal style. Your group members, advisor, family and friends, as well as the staff in CPO can help you assess your strengths in these areas.
Styles & Skills
Leaders must develop an effective style. Style is the manner in which the leader uses personal skills and qualities in influencing relationships and goal related activities or tasks in a group. In traditional approaches to leadership, leaders are classified as having one of three styles:
- Autocratic - the leader controls decision-making, is highly directive, and emphasizes the tasks to be accomplished.
- Democratic - the leader shares decision making with the members, delegates when appropriate, and emphasizes both task and the human relations in the group
- Laissez Faire - the leader exercises little (if any) control, provides minimal direction, and allows tasks and relations to work out as they may.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these styles. Experienced leaders know that there is no one best style. Leaders of student organizations often find that having a mix of styles allows them to be effective in various situations. This is accomplished by matching the leader’s level of directiveness and control over the task to be done with the members’ experience and expertise in completing that task and by matching the leader’s level of emotional support with the members’ willingness and motivation for completing the task. Thus, the leader may need to assume different leadership styles with various individuals or subgroups of the organization working on different projects.
For example, if the chairperson of a project really doesn’t know how to get started and is not very motivated to initiate the project, the organization president may find that being highly directive initially and focusing on the job to be done will be most effective. As the chairperson learns the specifics of how to do the job the leader will need to alter the leadership style and be less directive while increasing emphasis on emotional support. At the same time the president is initially using an autocratic style with the chairperson of this project, he or she may have a chairperson of another committee that is highly motivated and has been successful in the past. If the leader is directive with this person, they will probably resent the leader’s control and apparent lack of trust. The leader in this situation would be advised to back off and allow the chairperson to act with minimal direction and interference.
Effective leaders are constantly attempting to enhance the strengths and complement the weaknesses of those members with whom they are working.
Leadership of student organizations is a “people business” and the qualities you develop, skills you learn, and styles you adopt as a student leader will form a foundation for future leadership positions.
Delegating responsibility (the art of spreading the work around) is an indispensable concept that must be grasped by any leader who expects to be successful. Delegation serves a number of purposes that include: allows more people to be actively involved, distributes the work load, and can help the unit run more smoothly.
Many leaders have difficulty delegating responsibility, as often they would prefer to do the job themselves to make sure the job is done correctly. While this method is often more expedient, it can also breed apathy among non-involved members. Sometimes leaders make the mistake of delegating only for themselves. Naturally this can give members the feeling of being used, rather than being important. Following are some simple guidelines in determining when to delegate.
- Tasks that match the skills of members of the group.
- Things that are usually your specified responsibilities, except in emergencies.
- Something you yourself would not be willing to do.
- A task to someone who may not possess the skills necessary to complete.
T—Indicates the location of a telephone line linked to Campus Safety. Boldface indicates a blue light telephone.
Emergency Telephone Locations
1. Briton House Apartments
2. Burns Street Apartments
T—North side (1220, 1224)
T—South side (1222, 1226)
3. Cass Street Building/Campus Safety Office
T—Open 24 hours
4. Dean Hall
cooperative residence for women
5. Dow Recreation and Wellness Center
T—East concourse, south of south fieldhouse doors
- Lomas Fieldhouse
- Dean Aquatic Center
- Lomas Fieldhouse
6. Erie Apartments
7. Ferguson Student, Technology, and Administrative Services Building
8. Fiske Hall
9. Fraternity area
- Alpha Tau Omega
- Delta Sigma Phi
- Delta Tau Delta
- Sigma Chi
- Sigma Nu
- Tau Kappa Epsilon
- Alpha Tau Omega
10. Goodrich Chapel
T—Northeast exterior corner
11. Ingham Hall
12. Mae Harrison Karro Village
T—Northwest entrance (center)
13. Kellogg Center/Dickie Hall
14. Kresge Gymnasium
15. Kresge Hall
16. Mitchell Towers
17. Mudd Learning Center
T—North exterior (by loading dock)
18. Munger Apartments
T—North parking lot
19. Munger Annex, 405 N. Berrien,
20. Olin Hall
T—Second floor lobby by north stairwell
21. Palenske Hall
22. President’s Home
501 E. Michigan Ave.
23. Robinson Hall
24. Seaton Hall
25. Technical Services
26. Vulgamore Hall
T—Kiosk near west entrance
27. Wesley Hall
T—South (main) entrance
28. Whitehouse Hall
29. Farley Drive Lot (Lot 24)
Emergency telephones are located on each floor in Kresge Hall, and in the elevators in Putnam Hall and Baldwin Hall.
Student Travel and 15 Passenger Van Usage Policy
I. Student Travel
A. Stipulations regarding class assignments, field trips, and other trips are explained in the Faculty Handbook:
Albion College recognizes that participation in extra-classroom activities such as class trips, departmental trips, club field trips, workshops, and intercollegiate athletics can be of benefit to the students and to the institution. However, Albion College also recognizes that classroom work is at the heart of the student’s progress in courses. Therefore, no College-sanctioned trip will be permitted that results in the absence of a student from classes for more than two consecutive class days without permission of the Provost. Furthermore, no intercollegiate athletic trip will be permitted to remove a student from classes for more than one class day, except by permission of the Provost. Saturdays rather than class days will be used for College-sponsored, extra-classroom activities whenever possible. Limited College transportation is available; inquiries should be directed to the Physical Plant Office and to the Office of Campus Programs and Organizations.
Students should inform their faculty members in advance of an upcoming class absence that is a result of participation in an official College event. Written notification of such absences is required, and must be distributed by the supervising College official. The student thereby merits the opportunity to make up assignments missed.
B. Non-College-sanctioned trips for extra-curricular activities should be planned on weekends instead of class days. Students traveling with groups in organizations that schedule trips while classes are in session are not automatically excused from classes. Each student on a trip may request prior approval from his/her faculty members to be excused from class and to be allowed to make up any missed assignments or work. This approval may or may not be granted.
II. Long Distance Travel
A. All organizations planning off-campus trips over 100 miles away are required to provide the information listed below to the Campus Safety Office before leaving campus.
- A detailed travel itinerary.
- Travel roster with emergency contacts.
- Signed activity statement of responsibility and release form for each person traveling.
The necessary forms are available in the Office of Campus Programs and Organizations.
B. All individual participants must travel with proof of personal health insurance.
C. At least one person on the trip must have a cell phone available in the event of an emergency.
III. International Travel
A. The Student Affairs staff member, office, or student organization advisor must check with the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory prior to organizing or scheduling student group international travel. If travel is restricted by the State Department, the Student Affairs staff member, office, or student organization adviser must check other appropriate country travel advisories, check “on-the-ground” contacts, and then consult with the vice president for student affairs for approval. Approval is subject to cancellation at a later date if travel is deemed inadvisable.
IV. 15 Passenger Van Usage
The van usage policies apply to the use of all College 15 passenger vans (referred to as ‘van’ below), as well as all similar vehicles that are rented or leased from outside agencies to be used for College-related travel or activities.
V. Van Driver Certification
A. All persons who intend to drive a van must first be approved by Facilities Operations.
- Forms for the approval process are available at: www.albion.edu/campussafety/transportation-services/van-driver-registration/.
B. All persons operating a van must have a valid operator’s license issued to them by the State of Michigan or another U.S. state.
- No person with more than three points on his/her license may operate a van.
- No person who has been convicted of an alcohol-related driving offense in the past ten years may operate a van.
- No person who has been convicted of any offense that involved a vehicle-related death may operate a van.
C. Facilities Operations will check with the Secretary of State (or appropriate state agency) to confirm that a person who requests to become an approved van driver has a valid driver’s license.
- In addition to an initial check, Facilities will check the legal driving status of all approved van drivers on an annual basis.
- It is the responsibility of an approved driver to immediately notify Facilities in the event that additional points are assigned to his/her license and/or vehicle operating privileges are suspended or revoked.
D. Persons requesting to become approved van drivers will complete a training session to ensure safe van operation.
- Campus Safety will provide this training that will include an online program as well as the actual operation of a College van.
- In addition to the initial training, approved drivers will repeat the online training program every three years.
VI. Van Reservation and Return
A. Individuals or groups who wish to use a van for use should forward a request to Campus Services.
- Student groups that wish to use a van must complete the necessary paperwork as required by the CPO office.
- Vans may only be used for College-related activities.
- Vans may not be used for transportation to bars, taverns, or events that focus primarily on the consumption of alcohol.
- Van drivers may not consume alcohol within eight hours of operating a van.
B. Drivers will inspect the van for damage, and will complete the vehicle checklist prior to operating the van.
C. Upon return to campus, drivers will park the van in the Facilities Operations parking lot.
- The vehicle checklist will be completed by the driver, and will be placed with the van keys in the key return slot at Campus Services.
VII. Van Travel
A. If a group is traveling with luggage, then no more than twelve people (driver included) may be transported in a van.
- “Luggage” does not include backpacks, purses, or other small bags that may be used for day or other short trips.
B. Seatbelts shall be worn by the driver and all passengers at all times while the vehicle is in motion.
- It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure, prior to putting the vehicle in motion, that all passengers have their seatbelts properly fastened.
C. No driver may drive a van more than ten consecutive hours, or more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period. In addition, one passenger needs to stay awake to assist the driver.
- A driver who drives ten consecutive hours must have at least a four hour rest period before resuming driving of a van.
D. At least one person on the trip must have a cell phone available in the event of an emergency.
- Drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while they are operating vans.
VIII. Accident Procedure
A. In the event that a College van is involved in an accident, the driver is responsible for ensuring that the steps listed below are taken.
- Contact the appropriate law enforcement agency, so that a police report may be completed.
- Contact Campus Safety at 517/629-1234 and advise the dispatcher of the accident.
- Notify the dispatcher of injured passengers and the hospital to which they are being transported.
- In the event that the vehicle is not drivable, Campus Safety will contact Facilities Operations to coordinate the disposition of the vehicle, the arrangement of alternate transportation and other necessary assistance for those on the trip as needed.
- Upon return to campus, notify the Business Office of the accident, to include date, location, and police report number for the incident.
Emergency Alert System
Keeping Parents Informed
The Albion College Department of Campus Safety has arranged for parents to be included in our Blackboard Connect Emergency Alert system. The College has used Blackboard Connect for several years to notify members of our campus community when a hazardous or emergency situation is occurring on or near our campus. The College will now be able to utilize this system to provide pertinent information about such incidents in a more effective and timely manner.
How To Sign-Up
Register to receive messages at https://britparents.bbcportal.com. This system has been designed for you to input your contact information, and to update that information as needed. Establish a user name and password, after which you will be asked to provide the email address and telephone numbers through which you want to receive messages from the College.
Questions or Problems Signing Up?