Morgan to Students: Turn it Up!
by Howard Hewitt
August 21, 2014
Wabash student housing leaders are back on campus and spent Thursday learning skills and techniques to lead their individual living units. The day got kicked off though with a healthy dose of enthusiasm and motivation by Track and Field Coach Clyde Morgan.
The noted motivator got the students attention from the first moment. “If you don’t feel like you’re a great leader – no, make that a phenomenal leader – then I want you to leave,” he said.
The annual HELP program, Wabash Housing and Education Leaders Partnership, is designed to provide skills, information and training for students elected housing leaders. Fraternity officers and Residence Assistants take part in the nearly day-long activity.
“Last year was a pretty okay year at Wabash,” Morgan said. “But okay is not okay with me. We have to be better than last year. (Other schools) can be okay but not Wabash.”
Morgan shared qualities essential to being a great student leader. The first was self-discipline and character. He talked about commitment. You can’t be committed to be a phenomenal leader just when it’s convenient,” he said. “We don’t want part-time commitment. We want commitment to this leadership team, commitment to Wabash and commitment to some kid.”
He strongly emphasized the need to listen, including putting down cell phones and making eye contact. “Be excited about helping somebody,” he urged. He told the students to compliment others, show hope, and help freshmen navigate their way.
“When I’m walking around campus this year I’m going to challenge people to ‘turn it up.’ We’re going to turn it up because okay is not good enough. We have to turn it up to be phenomenal.”
The students spent most of the morning together after the keynote address. They heard presentations on Title IX. City officers talked about safety, security, and fire prevention. Wabash nurse Carol Lamb joined Dr. John Roberts ’83 to talk about signs and response for substance abuse.
The afternoon sessions focused on leadership and recruitment. Sessions included discussion on understanding mental health issues, philanthropy, and group meetings for each living unit.
New Associate Dean of Students Marc Welch ’99 guided the students through the program after an introduction by Dean of Student Michael Raters ’85.