How did I end up in this class? This was the first question that I asked myself in regards to PSC 105L, a required class for both the Leadership Minor and LAS Protocol. You might be wondering, “Kendall, if it’s a required class, why are you wondering why you’re there?” Here’s why. Originally, I was scheduled to take HST 110L, which is a History class that is also a requirement for both my minor and protocol, but I was supposed to take this class with my cohort. Because of the size of our cohort this year however, our scholarship director Dan Gaken asked if a few of us would be willing to switch classes because there were too many people enrolled in that class already. I was one of these volunteers. Instead of taking a protocol class with my own cohort, there were a few members of my class that joined the sophomore cohort in Political Science.
One thing that I really enjoyed as a part of this class was an optional discussion group that we could choose to be a part of for extra credit. These groups were held on four different Tuesdays during our regularly scheduled class times, however during these classes, our professor, Thomas Stewart, did not attend class. Instead, four Graduate Assistants took charge of the hour by breaking us into our discussion groups. In preparation for each meeting time, we were asked to read online articles containing various information about police brutality including current headlining news stories, statistics, and legal actions that have been implemented in attempt to correct the problems. Our job as a group consisted of discussing the key issues we were presented with, and how we would go about solving the problems. At the end of each session, each group wrote a resolution outlining all the main topics of that particular discussion and how the group would correct those problems. For example, at one of the discussion sessions, my group wrote an extensive resolution about the implementation of body cameras within the police force in selected areas of the country, and a process for educating the public on their rights and responsibilities as citizens in attempt to bridge the gap between the police force and the public. I found the discussion groups very beneficial because it showed me that any small number of individuals have the opportunity to make a great impact on the world at any level, which empowers young leaders to become more involved with current social issues that we are faced with in the world today, and through these groups, we were also educated on how to do so. I found this experience to be a great resource for leaders because the group leaders encouraged us to understand and pinpoint the source of large problems and target them with action in order to obtain specific solutions. Leadership is inspiring change in the world, and I believe through these discussion groups, we were inspired to influence social issues by being given the tools and information to do so.