Freshman Leadership Organization helps new students get involved
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 15:09
While there are many organizations on campus to choose from, one focuses directly on freshmen and their success.
Sophomore Steff Johnston and junior Travis Mack direct the Freshman Leadership Organization, a student group whose focus is helping freshmen become acclimated to their first year on campus and learn how to direct and improve their leadership skills.
“Freshman Leadership Organization is a fairly new organization on campus that is designed to allow first-year students the opportunity to get involved,” Johnston said. “If someone wants to get involved on campus and develop his or her leadership skills but doesn’t know where to begin, FLO is the starting point.”
FLO is divided into five interest groups: College of Business, College of Engineering & Architecture, Service, Student Government and Pharmacy, Nursing & Allied Sciences. Each group has three to four facilitators.
Although FLO has these interest groups, the organization works as a whole to help freshmen learn to help and lead in the university, Johnston explained. At the meetings, all the group members meet together during the first half hour, while during the last half hour the students split into their groups.
During the year, FLO will feature guest speakers such as NDSU President Bresciani and Student Body President and Vice President Luke Brodeur and Jace Beehler. Campus organizations such as Greek Life, Bison Ambassadors and The Spectrum will also speak to these students.
“It will be a year filled with guest speakers, tours and involvement,” said Robbie Lauf, a sophomore majoring in political science, who helps facilitate the student government group.
Ashley Gehl, a freshman majoring in exercise science, said that she wasn’t sure where to start when she first came to NDSU.
“I basically wanted to join FLO because I wanted to get involved on campus, but wasn’t quite sure how,” she said. “I thought I would go to the meeting and see what it was all about.”
Gehl joined the service interest group and will be helping other people in the Fargo-Moorhead area, as well as on campus, she said.
“We get together each week and discuss ideas of how to service others and help others out,” she explained.
Katie Worral, a sophomore majoring in public relations and advertising, is one of FLO’s service facilitators.
“I wanted to be able to have an active hand in the engagement of students at NDSU,” Worral said.
Worral and the other three facilitators discuss what service projects their group can do, and then they act on them.
“I’m looking forward to being able to connect with the students and hear about what they want to get out of their experience at NDSU and their aspirations,” Worral said.
Paul Johnson, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering and the vice president of finance for Bison Ambassadors, joined FLO as an engineering and architecture facilitator because a friend asked if he could help out.
“I didn’t get involved with FLO my freshmen year, but I wish I would have,” Johnson said.
Many people who join FLO as a freshman usually end up helping out in subsequent years, but being in FLO as a freshman isn’t a prerequisite, Johnson said.
“FLO is geared mainly towards freshmen, but any student who wants to get involved on campus is welcome,” Johnston said.
Worral and Lauf agreed that joining FLO was a good opportunity to get connected, even though they are not freshmen. Johnson said that it was a good way for him to give back to the university.
“Being a facilitator has allowed me to connect with a bunch of freshman who have like-minded interests in leadership, service and academic success,” Lauf said.
Johnston advised that getting involved with FLO can be a big decision, but that it makes everything down the line much easier.
“You don’t make lifelong memories and friendships in the classroom,” Johnston said. “Joining FLO and getting involved gives you the opportunity to stand out on campus, make a difference and meet some really great individuals.”
FLO meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays in the Memorial Union Prairie Rose room.
For more information about FLO, visit www.facebook.com/ndsuFLO. To get involved as a facilitator, contact Steff Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org or Travis Mack at email@example.com.