This I Believe: Student Affairs Ethical Practice
I believe in always striving towards excellence. Early on in my undergraduate career I learned I had the control of my life and what I was able to accomplish. There were endless opportunities available to me and I had to choose from the available resources to accomplish what was important to me.
I could have gone to my classes each week and then gone home for the night and watched television. Instead I decided to become involved in a number of extra curricular activities. The most influential in my development was when I was president of my fraternity. Once I had been elected I was instantly empowered to do anything it took in order for the chapter to become one of excellence. It was important that the chapter was operating on the ideals and values upon which it was based. I knew that it was impossible to make everything perfect during my one-year term in office, but I also knew that I could get a couple steps closer toward excellence. My motivation and inspiration toward excellence for the chapter came from the very simple statement of purpose of the organization, which is “to cultivate and maintain the high ideals of friendship, justice, and learning.”
At the very least I knew I had to maintain the chapter’s current operations. However, this sense of excellence comes from the piece of trying to cultivate the different areas of the chapter. For example, our risk management plan was probably the best on campus already, but there were areas that could be tightened up to protect the chapter. Upon cultivating changes to the risk management program, the new challenge would be to maintain at the new level, which is that much closer to excellence.
The concept of excellence is very intangible and challenging to specifically define. Individuals need to create and always have a personal vision of what excellence looks like to them and strive towards it. In the context of organizations or where others are involved, there is a shared vision of excellence that must be created. One must never get discouraged if excellence is not accomplished as fast or as easily as they would like. As long as they are making progress and not slipping backwards, then they will be able to leave their mark.
In relation to student affairs, I think it is important to always convey this sense of excellence. When working with students and other colleagues it is important to always challenge them and push them to always look for ways to cultivate, while also maintaining. By doing this you act as a role model to others. This concept of excellence includes the pieces of making consistent decisions that will not be destructive or compromise the vision. It is important to always challenge the vision of excellence and make sure it is aligned with other personal or organizational values. By acting in this manner with students and colleagues, it really sets a high expectation of how they should act.
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