Conference teaches students to be better leaders


    By Natalie Kozimor

    Student leaders from across campus learned how become better leaders Saturday, Oct. 25 at the University Student Council Leadership Conference.

    Keynote speaker Ed J. Pinegar, president of the BYU 20th Stake, gave student leaders a seven-point formula to help them strengthen their organizations and members.

    Pinegar said student leaders must align themselves with correct principles. He said leaders must follow Christ”s examples of leadership, live by principles of the church, maintain their standards and have the Spirit lead them in all things.

    Pinegar next discussed the principle of hope.

    “Give everyone hope to carry on,” he said. “Where there is no hope, fear is at the door. Where there is no hope, apathy is right there waiting to engulf them. Where there is no hope there is discouragement, depression and despair. The lack of hope can do all this.”

    Pinegar also told students to have humility and be generous.

    “Never deny a generous thought,” he said. “Be generous with your praise and be generous with your credit.”

    The University Student Council Leadership Conference was open to all student leaders of on-campus organizations.

    Steve De Francis, program director for the council, said the conference provided leaders an opportunity to gain skills and insights from the speakers to help them better lead their organizations and to collaborate with other groups.

    “One of the main ideas and goals of University Student Counsel is to promote unity among student organizations,” De Francis said. “This conference is to give student leaders a chance to get to know one another and unite their efforts in a common goal to build a Zion university.”

    Dave Johnson, BYUSA president, addressed student leaders about the theme of the conference: “No ”Group” is an Island: Creating Connections at BYU.”

    “If we truly want to see the day when all BYU students feel like they are a part of a Zion community, where they feel like they truly have a friend, a responsibility and are nourished by the good word of God, then we have the responsibly to take what we currently do and expand it,” Johnson said. “We must invite more people in and strengthen the community by partnering with other groups.”

    Johnson told students every organization they represent contributes to the aims of a BYU education. He said each leader offers different talents and strengths that can make a difference in the lives of others.

    “I believe we can make a difference on campus as student leaders as we unite together and pool our efforts,” he said. “The difference will be immeasurable.”

    Todd Seirer, BYUSA clubs vice president, said he hoped student leaders left the conference thinking about how they could improve the university from their leadership positions.

    “It”s not just the administration”s job to lead students and tell students what to do,” Seirer said. “It is the students” job to rise up and take their friends, co-workers and club members with them to support BYU”s aims.”

    Suzanne Hanson, 21, a senior from Reno, Nev., majoring in English and family history, said she appreciated the principles Pinegar provided.

    “The best leader we have had on this earth was Christ,” she said. “If we apply the principles of the church to our leadership positions, we can become the people that are needed in society.”

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