Tag Archives: Student Life

50 Leadership Resolutions for Student Life Professionals

list of resolutions on blackboard with three blank, numbered sticky notes

As we begin a new year, it is good to reflect back on what we have accomplished while also examining areas we can improve upon going forward. Here are thoughts to consider as you develop your own resolutions related to your work in Student Affairs.

  1. Modesty is key; be humble.
  2. Open your mind and listen more.
  3. Seek out feedback while implementing changes.
  4. Engage in positive thought for encouragement.
  5. Help yourself by helping others succeed.
  6. Forward thinking encourages positive change.
  7. Embrace and foster a shared vision.
  8. Nothing is impossible when you put trust in yourself and others.
  9. Recognize the value and talent in quality staff.
  10. Make data-driven decisions.
  11. Self-motivate to stimulate creativity.
  12. Get out of your head and into the now; live fully in the moment.
  13. Don’t pop bubbles; think outside of your own bubble and inside others.
  14. Challenge yourself to examine issues from multiple perspectives.
  15. Re-evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT).
  16. Set attainable and result-driven goals for you and your team.
  17. Focus your energy around creative collaboration.
  18. Encourage on-going and engaged teamwork and development.
  19. Don’t like something?  Then change it.
  20. Check your attitude at the door, while holding that door open for others to shine.
  21. Give more than you receive.
  22. Use that which you receive efficiently.
  23. Be honest with yourself.
  24. Practice transparency with others.
  25. Simplify daunting tasks; let go of some rigidity.
  26. Manage your time efficiently; prioritize.
  27. Be good to and take care of yourself.
  28. Encourage collaborative problem solving.
  29. Discover something new about yourself and others.
  30. Smile, laugh, and then laugh some more.
  31. Do the footwork it takes for the team to be successful.
  32. Don’t settle for the quick fix, find a long-term solution.
  33. Take value in the presence and work of others.
  34. Be innovative while encouraging team synergy.
  35. Patiently respond rather than immediately reacting.
  36. Always give the best you possible.
  37. Learn to say NO when you are overwhelmed.
  38. See opportunity where others see uncertainty.
  39. Empower those you lead by embracing change and unconventional thinking.
  40. Focus on your strengths by leaving your weaknesses.
  41. Breathe deep and let go of lingering frustrations.
  42. Be yourself and let others see the real you.
  43. Be deliberate and reach out to those you lead.
  44. Inspire others to exceed your expectations.
  45. Maintain a healthy balance of positivity and honesty.
  46. Acknowledge and address problems straight away.
  47. Emerge from uncertainty stronger than you went in.
  48. Seek out opportunities to learn and grow as a professional.
  49. Look back to remember but forward to inspire.
  50. Listen to and accept constructive criticism.

What specific resolutions are you working on related our profession? Please share your comments below. If you liked this article, please Like and/ or  Share it on Facebook and Retweet on Twitter. 

Santa Claus Must Be a Student Affairs Professional

Santa Student Life

Santa Claus is one of the most revered mythical icons that inspires fun, hope, and joy across the globe. Now that the holiday season is upon us, I starting thinking about how we as student life professionals share many of the same attributes as our trusted friend from the North Pole. I feel that Santa Claus could be the perfect Student Affairs professional!

Santa Claus Nurtures and Appreciates Diversity – Santa delivers toys to children all over the world. In order to do this, he must understand all of those cultures and languages. Santa does not discriminate as he spreads the spirit of the holiday to all children. Likewise, Student Affairs professionals serve and help develop students of varied and diverse backgrounds, cultures, abilities, socioeconomic statuses, and a multitude of other differences.

Santa Claus Inspires for Life – We believe in Santa as children, but this only lasts for a short time. However, we continue this tradition with our own families and enjoy the spirit of the holiday for the rest of our lives. The practice of Student Affairs holds this same value for the students we help develop. Students are only in college for a few short years, but the work of Student Affairs professionals will impact them for the rest of their lives. (Those of you reading this are a perfect example of someone who was positively impacted by at least one Student Affairs professional!)

Santa Claus is Everywhere – From midnight to before the break of dawn on Christmas, Santa magically accomplishes the impossible task of spreading excitement across the globe. Furthermore, he is in cartoons, movies, holiday decorations, and most importantly, in the hearts and minds of everyone during the Christmas season. Student Affairs professionals also perform magic throughout the year to assist, educate, and inspire college and university students. We are seemingly everywhere within the university community. Whether we are participating in committee meetings, sporting events, conduct hearings, training sessions, and advising conversations, our mission is to be involved in all aspects of the student experience.

Santa Claus is a Servant Leader – Santa Claus is a shining example of a servant leader. Not only does he serve children all over the world, but he also takes care of and supervises an army of elves and a herd of magical reindeer. Student Affairs professionals are also servant leaders at heart. Our core mission is to develop and serve the students who come to our colleges and universities. We aim to make students more educated and prepared for when they leave us.

How else does Santa Claus embody the spirit of Student Affairs? Please share your thoughts below and “Like” on Facebook and Tweet if you enjoyed this post. Thank you for all that you do and Happy Holidays!

* Awesome Illustration by Norma Andriani

Reflecting on the Past

A Journey of Self-Reflection

What pops into your mind when I say the University of California at Berkley?  Maybe images of hippies in  the late 1960’s wearing bell bottoms and strumming their guitars on the lawn between classes.  Or maybe you are a reader of the Student Life Guru Blog that has actually been UC Berkley and know that stereotype is long extinct. 

Take a look at this modern version of UC Berkley: http://bit.ly/eHiIlk (access date 3/29/2011.)  

Now gaze at this historical image of UC Berkley from 1907:  http://1.usa.gov/hZInBp  (access date 3/29/2011.)

The physical differences are both stunning and obvious.  Just like UC Berkley, in one hundred years a lot has changed on campuses all over the country.  Has the essence or mission of colleges and universities changed drastically in the last century?  Examine these photos again in terms of your own role at your college or university.

  • In my current position, what would my role to students be in 1911?
  • Do you think your current job would be vastly different in the past then it is now and how?
  • What sorts of interactions would you have with students in the early 1900’s?
  • How do you think students would perceive you one hundred years ago as their leader/mentor?
  • Do you think your mission towards students is different then your current mission? How? Why?

Maybe after some reflection you feel glad that you can happily tweet your staff to invite them to an impromptu cup of coffee for all their hard work or maybe like a colleague of yours in the distant past you put pen-to-paper and draft a glowing letter of thanks for your exceptional staffer. 

Has the mission, developing students and leaders, changed dramatically in one hundred years or is student development the same but the methods different?


The 1907 image of the University of California at Berkley, along with 238 breathtaking panoramic views of colleges in the early 1900’s, are available in the Digital Collections of the Library of Congress (access date 3/29/2011.)  You just might be able to find an image of your school there! (Panoramic Photographs access date 3/29/2011.) You must actually click on college campuses embedded in the paragraph.

Current photos of UC Berkley are available on their website: http://www.berkeley.edu/photos/campus/ (access date 3/29/2011.)