Just a few weeks ago our country was voting on its next leader. Likewise, WTAMU is embarking on a similar voyage with the addition of a new leadership program.
“We have a new leadership program called BUILD [Buffs Uniting in Leadership Development]. BUILD is designed to meet a significant need that we have here on campus, that need is a leadership development program.” Matt Maples, Associate Director Of Student Activities, said.
By implementing BUILD, this need has been realized.
“Instead of having a program in which you go to one event and get a patchwork of different leadership training, we are trying to create a coordinated effort that would have you finish the leadership training after a specific number of years.” Maples said.
However, the existing leadership programs at WT will not cease to exist but rather be used as a supplement.
“What we are working to do is to fold the other leadership programs into build and use them as supplements,” he said. “This is so students will have a clear track in order to develop their leadership skills.”
This clear track involves giving students the opportunity to utilize their skills as leaders.
“We are giving them tangible opportunities in order to utilize their leadership skills.” Maples said. “For instanc,e they will work with a leadership project each year; as well they will work with student council members from the region sixteen high schools during a conference in order to use those skills.”
However leaders are not just limited to a small few.
“We need leaders in every industry and every major so we encourage students to get involved with these programs, because we want to utilize those leaders and develop those students to do great things on campus while they are still students.” Amber Black, program coordinator at WT Leadership Education and Development (LEAD), said.
Essentially, leaders need to be created in order to solve greater problems.
“Within the community, you are currently living in there are problems and issues that need to be solved,” Black said. “We need citizens that are committed to helping solve these problems, and students who have leadership experience can step up and say ‘I can solve that problem.’”
Skills taught in programs like BUILD set students apart when it comes to employment as well as school.
“You will develop a set of skills that will set you apart when you graduate. Our students have had the opportunity to meet with some community leaders,” Black said. “We’ve had some unique experiences and we have gone to some interesting places through these leadership programs. You will be a better employee, you will be better once you are in the work force to take initiative and to utilize your skills and step up once opportunities present themselves.”
“The importance of leadership at WT is huge around campus,” Clara Sainz, a sophomore WT peer leader, said. “It’s a role the leader plays, being part of, in or out of WT. Peer leaders and many other leaders on campus has the opportunity to make a change and we take that job seriously.”
University Leadership is held in highly in regard to the University’s mission as well.
“At West Texas A&M, leadership is part of our core values as well as mission statement which talks about our dedication to educating our future leaders, faculty and staff help prepare students for leadership roles.” Black said. “I would encourage students to get involved with leadership programs through the core office as soon as they come on campus and talk to Matt Maples There are a lot of great programs there.”