The most important goal for Student Life and Leadership is to create an atmosphere of support for students.
They do this by building community through a variety of programs including bringing musical acts to the SLCC campus, getting students to register to vote and take action at the Capitol, and creating opportunities to support Bruin sports. Student Life and Leadership also acts as the advocate body for students and may address concerns about professors that aren’t being dealt with satisfactorily, such as textbook pricing and open source texts, and student safety.
“If a student has something they think is not fair, right or working,” said Curtis Larsen, director of Student Life and Leadership, “the Senate wants to know.”
Because SLCC has a diverse student body, different activities are scheduled to take into account ages, times of day and families.
“We are here for them [the students],” said Mike Bird, Student Association president, “We want to meet the needs of the whole student body.”
Bringing students together with entertainment is a beginning to creating a community. Some of the artists that Student Life and Leadership has scheduled in the past are the Neon Trees, the Jabbawockeez and Michelle Branch. Alma Desnuda will perform for Welcome Back Week 2011, and on September 30, 2011, the Plain White T’s will bring their music to SLCC.
Having multiple locations where bands can perform allows SLCC to take advantage of discounts for musical acts. That is one reason that the Student Life and Leadership can bring “a fairly good-sized musical act each year,” said Larsen.
Both Larsen and Bird cited the mission statement of the Student Life and Leadership as a driving force. The mission statement is, “We create leadership environments and hands-on experience providing students opportunities to have a voice, get involved, find their place, and shape moments of inspiration.”
“It is important for students to be treated fairly,” said Bird, “and to have a good and inexpensive education.” To that end, he is looking to get “more students involved in our advocating and lobbying efforts at the Capitol as registered voters” when it comes to higher education, tuition, Pell grants and textbooks.
Student Life and Leadership hosted the Utah Leadership Academy in May 2011, bringing college leaders from across the state to network and share ideas.
To support Bruin sports, Student Life and Leadership is in charge of the cheerleaders and the Bruin Bear. The cheer squad is made up of 17 people – eight men, eight women and the mascot. Student Life and Leadership schedules about two road trips every year to rally support for the baseball and softball teams. The Bruin Bear is also available for other events and has performed at benefits, hockey game halftimes and on parade floats.
Student Life and Leadership schedules four family friendly events every year. A Halloween carnival, Breakfast with Santa and an Easter egg hunt are held near their respective holidays. Safari Day, which is scheduled for March 12, 2012, will see wild animals be brought to the Taylorsville Redwood Campus. Past presenters have included the Hogle Zoo and Scales and Tails.
“Students can come to this office for anything,” said Bird. “We are a great resource for students to see what is going on and what’s new.”
Elected in March 2011, Bird was involved previously with Student Life and Leadership as a competitive soccer player. He was intrigued with the possibilities of what one person could do and wanted to advocate for students.
“I just have the title and maybe a little more responsibility,” Bird said. Students shouldn’t be afraid to approach him with questions or concerns. “I am just here to work hard and see that it happens.”
For any student who has a burning desire to make a change happen, positions are available every semester. Prospective senators must go through an application process that includes an interview with members of the senate and the student council. The term is for one year. There are eight senators representing the constituency of each of the three regions.
Successful changes that Student Life and Leadership has instigated include finding an alternate parking location at Library Square, a barrier removal at a Jordan Campus intersection and enhanced lighting for student safety at the South City Campus.
Student Life and Leadership has offices at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus in the Student Center, Room 124, the South City Campus in room W128 and at the Jordan Campus in the Student Pavilion.