This is a guest post by Kristyn Gieger, Residential Life intern for Summer Conferences. We are so thankful for Kristyn’s leadership, energy, and commitment to Loyola!

For this post, Kristyn asked Loyola student leaders to reflect. Below are some of their thoughts.

You can read Kristyn’s previous guest post here!

On every campus we hear about leadership and what it means to be a leader. Although we can always look it up in one of the billions of dictionaries, what does it mean at Loyola? So I set out on a quest to define leadership in the eyes of our students! Even though school’s out for summer (Have to credit that quote! Thanks Alice Cooper!), there are leaders of the pack still here on campus trudging through the heat with us every day! While interviewing students, I asked four short answer questions. Sounds simple right? But I got the wheels turning in everyone’s head with my way of asking what a Loyola student leader is! So without further comment here are some responses:

Q1: Interpret the following quote in your own words: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”  ~John Quincy Adams

“I definitely agree with that because being a leader is all about action, empowering, and how impactful you can be on other people through your actions and everyday doing.” –Sebastian Bernal

It kind of means that when you are able to inspire people it holds resonance and holds power. When you are able to get through to some you know it’s making them look at themselves and make a change in themselves and how they can do better or be better.” -Malerie Thornton

Q2: Below is a list of 5 out of 12 Ideals of Jesuits Education important to Loyola University New Orleans. How do you feel these ideals fit leadership at Loyola? In your future?

  1. Development of personal potential
  2. Learning from experience
  3. Critical thinking and effective communication
  4. Commitment to service
  5. International and Global Perspective

“A good leader has to be able to reflect upon past actions in the process of growing.” -Kwame Juakali

“Loyola challenges you and is a challenge that’s the bottom line. With each paper you have to communicate your thoughts effectively.” –Malerie Thornton

“We are here for this reason and being aware of our call to be responsible citizens of the world.” –Sebastian Bernal

Q3: What are two qualities a leader must have?

“A good leader has to be able to inspire people using feelings that may be hidden from view. If you can get someone to truly care about an issue it makes a world of difference, because good followers make good leaders and not the other way around!”  –Kwame Juakali

Q4: In your own words, define a student leader on this campus?

“Driven, empowering to other people, dedicated, committed to Jesuits values, Stay true to themselves and core values, community member, engaged, friendly, and approachable.” –Sebastian Bernal

Beginning this project, I was very excited to learn what Loyola students think and feel about leadership. My intention was to not ask a typical leadership question. The students really thought about their responses and engaged in conversation on different topics of leadership on campus and in their communities. To sum up here is my definition of leadership and a leader with my new Loyno perspective!

Leadership – the ability to inspire and empower others in a community to act for the greater good in order to better their lives and communities.

Leader – a member of a group that is dedicated to the group’s mission and aids the members in the right direction.

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