FYLE Aims to Create Leaders

Hannah Matro

Coming this October, GV Laker Life Leadership Programs will put on a 5-week series called First Year Leadership Experience. The website states that it’s ‘designed to assist new leaders in creating and enhancing their personal philosophy of leadership while developing basic leadership skills and learning about all of the leadership opportunities that the GVSU community has to offer.’

All first year students and transfers are encouraged to embark on a journey that will help them harness skills needed not only to be leaders in a college environment, but skills that will also leak into post-college life.

“FYLE was the starting point for my involvement on campus. After attending the program as a first-year student, I began attending other Laker Leadership Programs, and also got involved with my Community Council in the Residence Halls”, says Andrew Brown, a GV junior.

“I currently am a Leadership and Service Intern for the Community Service Learning Center and Laker Leadership Programs, a Writing Consultant in the Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors, and a Peer Educator in the Counseling and Career Development Center. Without taking that first step and signing up for FYLE, I can’t say for certain that I would be as involved on campus as I am today.”

The five sessions held throughout October will encompass subjects such as values, ethics, inclusion, goal setting, and networking. The aim of these programs is to jumpstart new leaders into their roles, creating leaders who will transcend beyond limits and expectations.

Students who participate must either be freshman, first years, or transfer students who have completed a semester at GV. The new role as a leader and even as a participant in FYLE is potentially awkward and stressful for some students. The facilitators, however, work hard to make it a comfortable environment.

“Within five minutes the awkwardness disappears. You’re laughing and having a great time, and when the night is over you realize that you learned a lot about yourself as well”, says Brown.

Along with creating strong leaders, FYLE often cultivates friendships between the students who attend the program for the five weeks. “I still talk to many of the students and facilitators from both years that I was involved in the program. Since then, I’ve collaborated with many of these students on different projects, because they truly are phenomenal leaders from all areas on campus”, says Brown.

The program is activity-based. No student wants to come and essentially take another class at the end of the day, so FYLE strives to be fun, interactive, and still effective.