Leadership Lifestyles comes to BU
To encourage students to develop socially and get involved on campus and in the Peoria community, Bradley is offering 42 incoming freshmen women a Leadership Lifestyles experience. And residents of University Hall 4 won’t be the only ones studying this year.
“It’s investigative research,” said Melissa Sage-Bollenbach ’94 MA ’97, director of Bradley’s Wellness Program. “We’re looking at how leadership and service engagement might affect student health behaviors that are high-risk.”
The Leadership Lifestyles floor is the result of a grant from the Illinois Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Violence, and Other Drug Prevention. Standard dormitory floors participate in programs, but aided by the Leadership Lifestyle floor’s extra funds, U-Hall 4 residents are offered at least 25 additional functions ranging from Peoria-area volunteer opportunities to workshops and recreational events.
At the beginning of the school year, students were given voluntary surveys to measure their involvement in service organizations, as well as high-risk behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse. The Leadership Lifestyles floor will be surveyed again in December and May to study these behaviors and the level of engagement in the floor’s extra programs. Responses will be compared to those from a control floor, also located in University Hall.
“Our grant will fund the first year,” said Sara Ray O’Shea ’04 MA ‘07, director of the Lewis J. Burger Center for Leadership. “When it’s time to apply for more support, we’ll hopefully be able to prove this is a worthwhile and meaningful project.” The additional grant money would be used to possibly expand to a men’s floor.
Ray O’Shea is the leader of the Bradley Fellows program, a student organization in which service-minded members give at least 40 community service hours every semester.
“Based on our experience with Fellows, it is clear women have more interest and are more engaged in volunteer opportunities,” Ray O’Shea said. “We felt it was a good population to start with. We hope women will get involved beyond the Leadership Lifestyles floor. We’d like to see them taking leadership roles in student organizations and get to know the Peoria community.”
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