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 belief in people—belief 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 your community and society by actively working towards 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. It 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 act in accordance with those values, beliefs, attitudes and emotions. A congruent individual is genuine, 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).