Increasing Inclusiveness

Little did I know, when I accepted the Leadership Advancement Scholarship at CMU, I was set apart from other people on our campus. Yes, Dan will tell us over and over again how grateful we are to have so many involved individuals such as LAS scholars to be committed to living better everyday. It is such a blessing to be surrounded by a group of highly motivated peers like you all. I want to let you know that I am so very proud of each and every one of you for receiving the LAS scholarship.

As we are “set apart” from others on our campus, what does this mean? When meeting others and sharing you’re a LAS recipient the word ADVANCEMENT sticks out. What part of our title makes our capability to lead more advanced than others? Attending Leadershape this summer made me realize that their are so many wonderful, inspirational people that flood our campus that we haven’t even had a chance to meet yet, that do not have the LAS scholarship. Our title does NOT put us above any other group or individual at CMU.

To help promote and increase inclusiveness, I have a few tips to leave you with as we strive for more people to join us and feel welcome at the Leadership Institute.

  • Don’t refer to each other as LAS
    • Although we are all in LAS together, there are other qualities that better define our character, than our title. Instead introduce friends as friends in effort to help others feel more included. Referring to each other as LAS may make others feel like they are not qualified or special enough to associate with us, and that is surely not the case.
  • Moving in packs can be intimidating
    • If you saw the whole football team marching down the sidewalk would you keep walking next to them or would you step off to the side? As simple as this seems walking together as a cohort shouldn’t be so harmful should it? Being associated with each other and some of our dominating personalities may make others shy away instead of jumping in and feeling welcome in the crowd.
  • ALWAYS be willing to meet new people
    • At the beginning of the year you will be super fired up to meet new people and find those that you will continually surround yourself with throughout the year. It’s inevitable that there will be certain people we will spend more time with than others especially when placed in a group of 40 others. As I shared earlier, meeting people outside of LAS has been such a great blessing in my life that I would not want to forget. Keep up the enthusiasm of meeting new people throughout the year and say hi to everyone 🙂
  • Leadership Institute for ALL!
    • If you share your the award of the LAS scholarship with others and they seem clueless or unwelcome, tell them more about the Leadership Institute. Spark Leadership Series, Connections Conference, Ignite Leadership, Catalyst, and a Leadership Minor are programs available to all CMU students. We want to continually strive to expand our family at the Leadership Institute, so spreadawareness of what we are about!

Again, I want you to know that I am very proud of you for receiving the LAS scholarship. But be aware of how your actions can impact others and whether or not they feel included in our lives, and at the Leadership Institute 🙂


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