Gratitude Series: Creating Leaders

Students are the heart and soul of our community at Augustana and we are especially grateful for our student leaders. Our community thrives because our students generously give their time and talent to create positive experiences on campus. For example, our athletic programs promote excellence in competition, the classroom and the community. The Augustana Student Association (ASA) advocates for all students. Augiethon raises money For The Kids (#FTK). Viking Advisors (VA) foster community in our residence halls. Our students are making major contributions to the Augie community and beyond.

The nucleus of student leadership on campus is the Center for Campus Life. It completes the student experience by providing essential programs, services, and activities that foster individual development, encourage involvement, and create an inclusive campus community. To fulfill its mission each February, they select over 90 student leaders who play
a critical role.

These student leaders are involved in key initiatives across campus: Welcome Week, Viking Guides, Viking Advisors, and many other important leadership initiatives. The Welcome Week Committee, led by two co-chairs, meets throughout the summer to prepare a 4-day orientation experience for first year, international exchange and transfer students. In addition to planning social activities, the committee organizes service projects in the Sioux Falls community for 28 groups and coordinates educational sessions on understanding individual strengths, bystander intervention and diversity and inclusion.

Viking Guides are the energy on move-in day and lead the Welcome Week groups through all of the activities. From facilitating learning in educational sessions to answering questions about campus to helping students acclimate to campus life, Viking Guides are an essential part of enhancing the Augustana experience.

Viking Advisors (VAs) live on each floor of our residence halls and have a significant impact on students’ lives. VAs play a critical role in the development of connected and engaged residential communities that challenge and support each student, ultimately leading to personal growth and development. VAs serve as a resource on the floor and model healthy relationships and priorities for all students.

Together, these student leaders demonstrate what it means to be a Viking, but they aren’t the only ones who shape our community. As the voice of students, ASA is responsible for the recruitment and selection of leaders for groups including SKOL, the Union Board of Governors (UBG) and the Viking Days Committee. There are over 70 ASA-recognized student organizations. Recreational Services and Campus Ministry are two more examples of offices relying on student leaders for the success of their programs.

Augustana is grateful for the contributions these students make to our campus community. These important leadership roles are building skills that will last a lifetime.