Fans of college sports know all about “rebuilding years.” In most cases, that designation isn’t a good thing when it’s applied to their favorite teams. After all, it means that the skilled and experienced players have all graduated or moved on to professional sports, leaving incoming freshmen to fill those positions.
Isabel Emrich, the NSLS Chapter President at the University of South Dakota (USD), knows how those sports fans feel, but she also knows that those newcomers can often bring a valuable new perspective through diversity, an unshakeable commitment, and an abundance of energy to your team.
“I have the best Executive Board team this year! I lost most of my board and asked multiple students to step up to work with me to make sure that our future students get the best experience possible. They all came in with open minds and are working so hard."
New Members Bring Energy and New Perspectives
As Emrich discovered, new NSLS members are often the best source of positivity and untapped skill sets, and an energetic sense of dedication should never be discounted.
Whether your chapter or organization is in a rebuilding year or riding high on past successes, the impact that kind of enthusiasm prompts can become an organizational calling card, attracting new members and infusing your group with a fresh sense of purpose.
Emrich agrees. “The NSLS has helped bring more leaders to our campus. We have been able to keep a steady pace of inductees, and it is wonderful to see them using their leadership skills in the classroom and around campus.”
In a similar way, Emrich believes that the NSLS has helped the members of the USD Chapter find and build new, long-lasting relationships. “The NSLS helps bring many peers with a similar drive together. The interaction during large meetings and during SNTs helps make lifelong friends.”
Of course, that’s not all that the NSLS offers its members, Emrich points out. “Our members love being able to apply for the NSLS scholarships!” NSLS scholarships and awards empower them to pursue their studies, build on past successes, and reach ambitious goals.
How the NSLS Experience Builds Stronger Leaders
As for Emrich herself, she is grateful for the practical leadership experience she is gaining from serving as Chapter President.
“I have learned so many leadership skills from being a chapter leader. There are so many parts of a student organization, such as budget, communication, and planning that I had to familiarize myself with, and now I have that experience for the rest of my life.”
Her experience as a student leader with the NSLS has also helped her reassess her personal understanding of what it means to be a strong leader. “Leadership means being able to help guide groups, but also being able to step back and ask for help when you need it.”
Based on that understanding of the concept of leadership, Emrich says that she would advise other student leaders to begin building connections with other members early. “I would tell them to make sure they have consistent communication with their students and to make sure that they are approachable.”
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Renewed Energy Leads to Bigger Goals
Moving forward, the USD chapter’s goals aim to build on past successes. Emrich says the group benefits from that fresh influx of new members, too.
“We are working on doing a volunteering event this month and we are also planning to do a Halloween candy bag fundraiser. My wonderful community service chair and fundraising chair are heading this, and the rest of the board is helping them in any way that we can.”
With a strong Executive Board in place, the USD chapter is ready to continue making an impact on the community and building leaders who make a better world.
Yaryna Zhurba from the University of Alabama in Huntsville chapter knows a thing or two about rebuilding, having created Ukrainian Puzzles to help build back a country in strife. Read her remarkable story.