Meet the student leaders on campus

by Laraithon Williams | Staff Writer
Published: Last Updated on

Out of more than 20 registered student organizations that look to serve special interests at the University of Indianapolis, three major RSOs look serve the entire student body. They are Indianapolis Student Government, Residence Hall Association and Campus Program Board.

ISG, RHA and CPB are the big three RSOs that together aim to serve the campus community by listening to and addressing their needs.

ISG is the political voice for the student body on campus and is led by senior marketing major and communication minor Tyler Offutt for the 2014-2015 school year. Offutt, who has a passion for public relations and marketing, started in ISG as the public relations chair. Offutt gradually took on leadership roles throughout his term as PR chair. When former ISG President DyNishia Miller graduated, he decided to run for the position.

Because of his high school years as a link leader (high school freshman mentor) and student council member, Offutt is not new to leadership.

Offutt aims to gain a representation of the student body’s voice by using the Student Senate as a bridge to connect the students’ issues to administration. Offutt said Student Senate was created last year by ISG to gain a more collective voice of the students on campus.

“[We want] to continue to educate people about what we’ve done, what we’re doing and what we’re hoping to do in the future,” Offutt said. “We really are that platform for them [students]…. If it is within our power, we will definitely do things to make them happen.”

Campus Program Board Vice President Maggie Paul, a senior exercise science major, said she wanted something more than going to class and coming home. In her sophomore year, she was a general body member of CPB, and then the vice president the following year. Paul serves as the organization’s acting president for the 2014 – 2015 school year, CPB has discontinued looking for a president.

When she is not in the CPB office, Paul also serves as a leader on the UIndy campus through positions such as peer mentor for the new student experience classes and chair for the 2014 Homecoming Committee. Juggling all her leadership areas, Paul credits Google calendars and balance of life and work to maintaining all her roles.

“People always talk about time management, but it’s not just about being able to manage it, it’s also about understanding yourself and knowing when to say no,” Paul said. “Balance is a really important part of that, but I need to make sure I make time for myself.”

From the start of her freshman year, junior international relations and political science double major, and Residence Hall Association President Rae Junard wanted to make a difference. She was director of programming for RHA, a position that oversees and helps with all events. That was only the beginning for Junard, who continued her position the following year. Junard gained a broader prospective about what it takes to be a leader when she interned for Sixth District Congressmen Luke Messer.

Knowing that she wanted to make a difference when she came back to campus by using the leadership skills learned in Washington, D.C., Junard said she interviewed to become RHA president via FaceTime.

“I learned how to delegate, when to say no and how to work with others,” Junard said.

Each of these student leaders has used his or her skills as a leader on campus to prepare for the future.

Offutt said his ISG presidency has opened a new side of networking. He has been offered two internship positions,    one of which will turn into a full-time position.

Paul said she wants to pursue a career in employee wellness and corporate fitness, knowing now the process of planning an event, being able to negotiate contracts, and communicating on a large scale.

Junard said that while she realizes RHA may not be what she intends to pursue as a career, she is able to excel in many other areas thanks to the RSO.

“I don’t want to always be wrapped in foreign policies.  I want to be able to excel in something else,” Junard said. “That’s what we’re all doing—event planning, looking at budgets, learning how to work with other people. These are all important skills for when we move past the barriers of guidelines.”

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