Opinion: Remember to thank your student leaders


Brianna Daniel-Harkins, LIT Conference co-organizer leads a workshop during the event. The conference, which was completely organized by students, aimed to break down stereotypes of leadership and encourage students to be leaders in their lives. Thabata argues that student leadership is as rewarding as it is tiring. Photo credit: Lacinea Mcbride

Katelyn Fecteau

Rana Thabata

Political science sophomore

[email protected]

When you are a student leader there is no doubt that you have a tremendous amount of responsibilities. Don’t get me wrong, being a student leader is great. It’s very fulfilling and rewarding, but it is also hard and tiring.

When you are an avid student leader, lots of people know who you are. They know that you are a good contact and often go to you for answers to questions or ask if they can collaborate. It’s awesome when we collaborate and co-sponsor events on campus because, let’s be honest, our campus (like many others) has an over-programming problem. There are so many amazing events going on at the same time. When you’re involved in so many things, you’re conflicted on where you’re supposed to go to.

First, let’s look back at the phrase student leaders and remember that the first word of that phrase is “student.” Student, as in someone going to an educational institution to learn. We are all here to learn, but we do not learn if we do not make mistakes.

Our student leaders are taking 15-18 credits a semester, have internships, some live off campus and many have part-time jobs. Our student leaders are being pulled in so many directions and no one is going to take care of them, except for them.

So my opinion is: cut them some slack. They do a lot for our campus and get to make mistakes, they get to forget, they get to take a day off of being president of something and just be themselves — they’re human. Just because they’re student leaders does not mean they are perfect.

Student leaders are incredible people who love Loyola and want others to love Loyola. The work they do is because they want to do it. Loyola gives its students the opportunity to be leaders and to discover their amazing skills. I am not saying that they should not be held accountable, but everybody fails at something in life whether it is now or in the future, and we deal with it at a pace we are comfortable with. Despite disappointing others, and most importantly themselves, student leaders should know that they are giving their all —all the time— and they are allowed to take a breath from time to time.

The entire university community is working toward the same goal: making Loyola the best university it can be, but that goal does not just lie on student leaders, it’s on us all.

To all my fellow student leaders, thank you. Thank you for making our school fantastic, thank you for showing others that they can also be leaders, thank you for being phenomenal despite everything else going on in your life. My admiration and appreciation for all of you is endless. Thank you is an understatement.

If you know someone who is a student leader, thank them and remind yourself that they should be fully recognized in their humanity before any of the other roles they play.