The Student Success Office (SSO) is now in charge of the Student Leadership Program to help students improve and enhance their leadership skills. The Student Leadership Program, which started in 2009, is a certificate program which was originally offered through the Organizational and Human Development department (OHD). Students are able to select and attend 12 two-hour interactive workshops held throughout the term, free of charge. The program allows students to take these workshops at their own pace and select the ones that interest them most. The workshops are designed to support students in gaining leadership and interpersonal skills while learning more about their personality type and how they naturally react in a classroom environment and a workplace setting. With this program, the SSO aims to implement the idea that anyone can lead. “‘Leader’ is sometimes a word that is misconstrued on this campus as someone who needs to have a position ... but it’s really for anyone who is interested in developing themselves; it’s really about your own personal and professional development and having the opportunity to learn something new about yourself,” said Alannah Robinson, co-ordinator of the Student Leadership Program. Robinson said that this can be done through the various workshops offered. Workshops offered include personality dimensions and presentation skills to planning effective team meetings and components of a cohesive team. A full list of workshops can be found on the SSO website. The program also aims for participants to better learn about leadership by accepting all types of students within the campus. “It introduces students to people who aren’t necessarily in their faculty or in their department, so it’s that cross-cultural communication [and] connections that people are making and sometimes you can have a student who’s in their first year sitting next to a PhD student in our workshops and they’re learning from each other,” said John Fedy, OHD co-ordinator of the certificate program. When OHD took management of the program, it was never formally promoted and advertised towards the student community. “When students find the program is really when they need it ... because we want students in the workshop who want to be there, which really helps us ignite the conversations and the topics around the program,” said Fedy. Despite the lack of advertising, about 4,000 – 6,000 students attend workshops as part of the certificate program every year, which is almost 20 per cent of the student population. Now that the program is under the SSO’s management, it anticipates a larger number of attendees as the program will be advertised more through various forms of social media and promotions. For more info about the student leadership program and how to participate, visit uwaterloo.ca/student-success/opportunities/student-leadership-program. --- This article has been corrected for the spelling of John Fedy's name, as well as updated to reflect corrections to misinformation provided to <em>Imprint</em>, including the website and the types of workshops offered by the program.
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