Organizational Leadership

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.


  1. Tasks that match the skills of members of the group.

Don’t delegate:

  1. Things that are usually your specified responsibilities, except in emergencies.
  2. Something you yourself would not be willing to do.
  3. A task to someone who may not possess the skills necessary to complete.

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.

  1. A detailed travel itinerary.
  2. Travel roster with emergency contacts.
  3. 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

These policies apply to the use of all College vans, as well as all vehicles that are rented or leased from outside agencies to be used for College-related travel or activities. Individuals who operate College vehicles must also abide by the Driver Approval and Vehicle Usage Policy, which can be viewed at 

V. Van Driver Certification

All persons who intend to drive a van must first be approved by Campus Safety. Forms for the approval process are available at: /   The approval and training guidelines are explained in the Driver Approval and Vehicle Usage Policy referenced above. 

VI. Van Reservation and Return

A. Individuals or groups who wish to use a van for use should forward a request to Campus Services.

  1. Student groups that wish to use a van must complete the necessary paperwork as required by the CPO office.
  2. Vans may only be used for College-related activities.
  3. Vans may not be used for transportation to bars, taverns, or events that focus primarily on the consumption of alcohol.
    1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. “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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Contact the appropriate law enforcement agency, so that a police report may be completed.
  2. Contact Campus Safety at 517/629-1234 and advise the dispatcher of the accident.
    1. Notify the dispatcher of injured passengers and the hospital to which they are being transported.
    2. 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.
  3. 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

Sign Up Now

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 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?

Do not hesitate to contact Ken Snyder, Director of Campus Safety, if you have questions, concerns, or problems signing up. He can be reached by email at , or by calling (517) 629-0213.

**Please note that your contact information in this system will not be used to update information contained in College official records. The College will continue to use the information already contained in our official records when it is necessary to contact the parent(s) of a particular student about a specific issue. If you have questions about official records including how to update them, please contact the Student Affairs Office via .

Emergency Telephones

Emergency Telephone Map

T—Indicates the location of a telephone line linked to Campus Safety. Boldface indicates a blue light telephone.

pdfDownload a printable version of this map

Emergency Telephone Locations

  1. 1. Briton House Apartments

    student residences
    T—Front exterior

  2. 2. Burns Street Apartments

    student residences
    T—North side (1220, 1224)
    T—South side (1222, 1226)

  3. 3. Cass Street Building/Campus Safety Office

    T—Open 24 hours

  4. 4. Dean Hall

    cooperative residence for women
    T—North exterior

  5. 5. Dow Recreation and Wellness Center

    T—Atrium desk
    T—East concourse, south of south fieldhouse doors

    1. Lomas Fieldhouse
      T—Equipment desk
    2. Dean Aquatic Center
  6. 6. Erie Apartments

    student residences
    T—Front foyer

  7. 7. Ferguson Student, Technology, and Administrative Services Building


  8. 8. Fiske Hall

    student residence
    T—South exterior

  9. 9. Fraternity area

    1. Alpha Tau Omega
      T—East exterior
    2. Delta Sigma Phi
      T—West exterior
    3. Delta Tau Delta
      T—West exterior
    4. Sigma Chi
      T—South exterior
    5. Sigma Nu
      T—West exterior
    6. Tau Kappa Epsilon
      T—North exterior
  10. 10. Goodrich Chapel

    T—Northeast exterior corner
    T—Lower lobby

  11. 11. Ingham Hall

    student residence
    T—Front foyer

  12. 12. Mae Harrison Karro Village

    T—All entrances
    T—Northwest entrance (center)

  13. 13. Kellogg Center/Dickie Hall

    T—West exterior
    T—Front desk

  1. 14. Kresge Gymnasium


  2. 15. Kresge Hall

    T—East entrance

  3. 16. Mitchell Towers

    student residence
    T—East exterior
    T—Center foyer/vestibule

  4. 17. Mudd Learning Center

    T—North exterior (by loading dock)

  5. 18. Munger Apartments

    T—North parking lot

  6. 19. Munger Annex, 405 N. Berrien,

    student residence
    T—East entrance

  7. 20. Olin Hall

    T—Second floor lobby by north stairwell

  8. 21. Palenske Hall

    T—East entrance

  9. 22. President’s Home

    501 E. Michigan Ave.

  10. 23. Robinson Hall

    T—East entrance
    T—West entrance

  11. 24. Seaton Hall

    student residence
    T—Center foyer/vestibule

  12. 25. Technical Services

    T—North exterior

  13. 26. Vulgamore Hall

    T—East entrance
    T—Kiosk near west entrance

  14. 27. Wesley Hall

    student residence
    T—South (main) entrance

  15. 28. Whitehouse Hall

    student residence
    T—West exterior

  16. 29. Farley Drive Lot (Lot 24)

    T—West entrance

Emergency telephones are located on each floor in Kresge Hall, and in the elevators in Putnam Hall and Baldwin Hall.

Active Shooter Information

If Shots Heard on Campus

Call Campus Safety x0911 or 517/629-0911

Campus Safety will then immediately:

    • Call Albion Department of Public Safety (ADPS)
    • Send a message through the College Alert system via telephone, text, email, campus siren/PA system to the campus community
    • Initiate building lock-down procedures

Once you have received the message, evaluate your surroundings for signs of danger: gunfire, smoke/flames, explosion, people fleeing.

If you ARE NOT in the vicinity of the shooter, DO NOT approach or attempt to enter that area. Go to a safe place, monitor a source of information, and remain there until you are notified it is safe to resume normal activity. 

If you ARE in the vicinity of the shooter, you have three options: Run, Hide, or Fight


    • Have an escape route or plan in mind and leave your belongings behind
    • Help others escape if possible, but most importantly get out whether they agree to go or not
    • Do not attempt to move or assist the wounded
    • Try to prevent others from entering the area where the shooter may be
    • Get to a safe place and call Campus Safety


    • Hide in an area outside the shooters view
    • Lock the door or block the entrance to your hiding place
    • Silence your cell phone (including vibrate) and remain quiet


    • Fight only as last resort and when your life is in imminent danger
    • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter and act with as much physical aggression as possible
    • Improvise weapons or throw objects at the shooter, making sure you commit to your actions as your life depends on it


For more information please visit the link below to a video on surviving Active Shooter events.

Run, Hide, or Fight.

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