The Making of Campus Leaders
Posted on November 12, 2008
Faculty and Staff
What is it that changes a young person into a student leader? For two BSC students who have assumed leadership roles on campus, it was the time they spent this summer at camp.
From July 19-24, Eric Sherlock
and Shawn Fielder
, both political science majors, joined students from across the nation at the second-annual Campus Pride Leadership Summer Camp, held at Towson University in Maryland. The entire trip was funded by BSC.
During the five-day camp, the two BSC students, along with approximately 60 of their peers from 50 higher education institutions, met with national gay activist leaders and sat in on panel discussions before visiting Washington D.C. These activities and others were meant to help students develop leadership skills, build coalitions and network with students and organization representatives.
Upon returning from the conference, Mr. Sherlock and Mr. Fielder, who had not previously been directly involved with BSC's Pride Center, took on roles as its ambassadors, meaning they provide leadership on a variety of issues, as well as advocate for equity on campus.
"We're completely different people now after coming back from the conference," said Mr. Fielder, a Bridgewater resident.
The students said their recent increased involvement on campus was due in large part to the personal growth they experienced at the conference. During the various group activities, the students said they encountered conflicting viewpoints, which initially upset them, but ultimately taught them about the issues and about themselves.
"Each day, not one person left with a dry eye," said Mr. Sherlock, a Whitman native, "but having your ideas challenged and defending what you believe makes you a stronger person, and makes your friendships stronger."
Coordinator of the BSC Pride Center, Lisa Forest
, said she was appreciative toward BSC for funding the trip that got the students more involved on campus and interested in GLBTA issues.
In an article in The Washington Blade
, Shane Windemeyer
, executive director for Campus Pride, said the event aims to empower and enlighten young leaders.
"The lessons learned and lifelong friendships developed at camp are the most valuable way to invest in the future of our movement," he said in the article.
Read The Washington Blade
. The story is accompanied by a photo of some of the attendees. (Robert Matheson, Office of Institutional Communications)