This letter is in response to the article “New Student Leaders at Odds with Program Ethics Code” and the editorial “Trust Issues” printed on Feb. 26, 2014.
The Professional and Leadership Standards that the Department of Student Programs and Leadership Development has implemented is an integral part of our mission. The standards state that no New Student Leader shall be in the presence of or partake in illegal activity on or off campus. All potential New Student Leaders read and understand the contract during the application process for their positions, as are they asked about it during their interviews before they accept the position. These standards are not meant to be a form of “social suicide,” but instead are just another way to add to your Fairfield experience.
Two of the current chairs of Team ‘18 have been documented as NSLs in regards to the standards, and one is currently on probation. This has not stopped either of them from maintaining their positions and succeeding within this department. Each of them were notified of the issue at hand and invited to a conversation with two of their supervisors. This discussion was held with the intention of listening to their sides of the stories. From there, decisions were made on the disciplinary action to follow. These examples show that SPLD is open to any and all discussion on a case-by-case basis. Violating the standards is by no means an immediate end of the NSL experience.
After living by these standards for about a year, we believe that we have grown exponentially. As students ourselves, we realize that this is a hard adjustment for many because we have certainly struggled with the standards in our own ways. While difficult, we believe it is making us better leaders on campus and more well-rounded individuals just like the Jesuit community promotes. As chairs, we hope to cultivate a team of student leaders that respect and uphold these standards.
Ninety-six percent of Super ’17 reported that they enjoyed their NSL experience and would recommend the position. Twelve members of Super ‘17 re-applied to participate and assist in the transition of incoming first-years. Through personal experience, we can attest to the difficulty to live by these standards while recognizing that some of our closest friends were made because of our participation. We had incredible experiences with Super ’17 and we cannot wait to begin this journey once again with our new team.
We have no problem opening the floor for discussion within the new NSL team, and encourage those NSLs who are selected to speak with us about any personal issues, including the department’s standards.
Congratulations to those selected to Team 18! We expect a strong group of leaders who will thrive in their roles and build on the accomplishments of their predecessors.
Co-Chairs of Team ‘18
Alli Scheetz ‘16
Amanda Murphy ‘16
Jeannette Eckelman ‘16
Meghan Warchol ‘16