For this blog entry I was to write about being in a leadership role at CMU, and the first thing I thought was, “How am I going to fit it all in?! There is so much to say!” Because really, being involved in leadership is such an encompassing (and important!) aspect of student life. As a high school student I loved being on Student Council and planning events, so I immediately felt the need to find similar committees once I got to university, and I found them—plus so much more!

At CMU, there are three main groups that make up the student leadership team: Student Council, Residence Assistants, and Commuter Assistants. There is also a management team that operates our student-run Blaurock Café, and a group of students who each lead fellowship groups throughout the year.

Student Council, headed by our President and Vice Presidents, is made of the chairs and co-chairs of the various student groups we have on campus (athletics, arts and entertainment, peace and sustainability, and many more). Residence Assistants (RAs) are pairs of students who each are in charge of a floor in our dorms. They plan floor events, keep everyone up to date at weekly floor meetings, and provide a listening ear and helping hand to any concerns or questions the students on their floor may have. Commuter Assistants (CAs) have a similar role to the RAs, but instead focus on the students that commute to and from CMU. They plan events, make themselves available for questions or talks over coffee, and work to integrate commuters more fully into the CMU campus experience. This year I am a Commuter Assistant, and represent the Commuter Council on Student Council, which means I get to help make sure that all our students, resident and commuter, are involved in campus life!

Being a student leader at CMU not only gives me the opportunity to be involved in the events and student life here, but it also makes me a more confident person and gives me the chance to meet so many more fellow students from different years and programs than I otherwise would have been able to meet. As a naturally shy person, I’ve learned how to be the friendly face that I always appreciated as a timid first year student, and I began to realize that I was far from the only person to feel shy or awkward about going somewhere new. I was not only able to quickly get past that myself, but also bring other people into this friendly community!

Being in student leadership also teaches me time-management, keeps me motivated in all areas of university, and shows me just how much CMU has to offer beyond classroom learning!

Whether it’s leadership training sessions, luncheons with pastors or professionals, or just planning for and working out event details with my fellow CAs at our weekly meetings, I am constantly learning about myself, the world around me, and the amazing things that can happen when you put that knowledge together! All while making new friends and connections with whom I now have the opportunity to do this learning alongside.

Heather Muir is one of CMU’s Student Ambassadors