Motivational speaker addresses student leaders

Encouraging student involvement requires meeting members where they are, Sullivan says

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Motivational speaker T.J. Sullivan spoke in Newcomb Ballroom Tuesday night, addressing the causes and possible solutions to college students’ growing apathy.

Sullivan targeted his talk toward student leaders at the University, encouraging them to lead others toward involvement and engagement in student organizations.

“The best use of effort for a student leader is to lead where the members are,” he said. “The idea that every member of an organization will be equally committed and engaged is a fantasy.”

Sullivan said it was important to recognize different motivational techniques would be required to involve members with varying levels of interest in the group. Members could be divided into three groups depending on their pre-existing commitment to the organization, he said.

“Top-third members are creative,” Sullivan said. “Give them something to do. [Give them] recognition, challenges and support.”

Members of the bottom-third should be given only minimal requirements to make sure they stay involved, Sullivan said. Middle-tier members are interested in the core message of the organization.

“We are hopeful that these offerings will help to provide student leaders additional tools … as they lead their student organizations at the University,” Asst. Dean of Students Michael Citro said in an email.

The event was sponsored by the Student Activities team in the Dean of Students’ office.

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