The key to residential life at the College is personal responsibility. All students are charged with taking responsibility for their own behavior and accepting the consequences of the choices they make. Because Kenyon is a residential college, it is important that students communicate openly with their roommates and others who live on their halls.
For many first-year students, this will be the first time they share a "bedroom" and living space with another person. This is a great learning experience for all students, one in which lifelong relationships are often forged.
At Kenyon, within the Office of Housing and Residential Life, the Social Change Model of Leadership Development is used to help shape the leaders of future generations. It is our goal to develop well-rounded students through education and experiences outside the classroom. We teach students what it means to be responsible community members, committed students, and trust-worthy peers. We promote relationships based upon inclusivity, mutual support, conflict resolution, self-awareness, and ultimately, aim to develop positive change agents who will impact the world in meaningful ways.
During the past two years, our staff has implemented the seven principles of this leadership development model. The seven C's listed below are a foundation for the work we do on a daily basis. At the core of these principles lies the belief in people—that when given the opportunity to give back to their community, people will give in more significant ways than they ever imagined; that when meeting others from different walks of life, people will build relationships and make connections in ways they had not envisioned; and that when people work together, they work for the betterment of the group and not for personal gain.
Citizenship: Occurs when you become responsibly connected to the community and society in which you reside by actively working toward change to benefit others through care, service, social responsibility, and community involvement.
Common Purpose: Necessitates and contributes to a high level of group trust involving all participants in shared responsibility toward collective aims, values, and vision.
Collaboration: Multiplies a group's effort through collective contributions, capitalizing on the diversity and strengths of the relationships and interconnections of individuals involved in the change process. Collaboration assumes that a group is working toward a common purpose, with mutually beneficial goals, and serves to generate creative solutions as a result of group diversity, requiring participants to share authority, responsibility, and accountability for its success.
Controversy with Civility: Within a diverse group, it is inevitable that differing viewpoints will exist. In order for a group to work toward positive social change, open, critical, and civil discourse can lead to new, creative solutions and is an integral component of the leadership process. Multiple perspectives need to be understood, integrated, and bring value to a group.
Consciousness of Self: Requires an awareness of personal beliefs, values, attitudes, and emotions. Self-awareness, conscious mindfulness, introspection, and continual personal reflection are foundational elements of the leadership process.
Congruence: Requires that you identify personal values, beliefs, attitudes, and emotions and consistently with those values, beliefs, attitudes, and emotions. A congruent individual is genuine and honest and "walks the talk."
Commitment: Requires an intrinsic passion, energy, and purposeful investment toward action. Follow-through and willing involvement through commitment lead to positive social change.
Source: Leadership for a Better World (Komives, Wagner, et al, 2009).