Men Missing in Student Leadership Roles

Arthur Dowell, Web Editor

Campus is rapidly changing with new sports, buildings and academic programs, but one thing remains the same: few male students are taking leadership roles in clubs and organizations.

Only nine male student leaders are serving in all 33 clubs regis- tered with Student Government Association (SGA).

Sr. Jean Messaros, Vice Presi- dent for Mission Integration, said she is puzzled by the dearth of male participation.

“People have to look into their hearts and see what they’re pas- sionate about. There is plenty of room for more clubs and creativity, and I don’t know why we aren’t seeing that from more male students,” Messaros said.

Director of Student Activities Darcy Brodmerkel thinks there may be many reasons men are staying away.

“Many of the male population is involved with sports on campus,” said Brodmerkel who also serves as SGA advisor. “When they have a busy sports schedule with practices and games as well as a busy academic schedule, many shy away from picking up clubs and letting down a group of their peers because they can’t invest.”

Brodmerkel does not believe there is a lack of effort among male students, and she sees a lot of male leadership on campus.

Brodmerkel also serves as advisor for the school’s summer orientation program and has seen male participation rising. Last summer, three men served as orientation coordinators for the first time ever.

Senior history major and president of SGA Catie Becker said men participate in waves.

“When looking back, I would say there were a lot more male leaders my freshman year compared to now,” said Becker. “I’ve seen a dropoff in the last few years, but I believe there will be a wave of guys willing to lead many of the clubs and organizations on campus.”

Sophomore biology major Zack Sabaday made it a point to get involved early in his college career. He is involved with Peer Advocates, SAFE, SAPE, Biology Club, and he is was orientation coordinator last summer.

Sabaday believes there is plenty of male involvement, but the numbers appear low because of the amount of women enrolled.

“I believe our lack of male involvement is simply due to males being overshadowed by the number of females on campus. I’m sure more males would be involved around campus if we had more,” Sabaday said.

Messaros wishes there were a way she could get males more involved. Many clubs and organizations are required to do a certain amount of service, and she would like much of the student population that receives the Catherine McCauley Scholarship to continue doing service.

“The reason many of our students receive the scholarship is because of the service and involvement they had in high school. It upsets me that so many get the scholarship and settle. I’d like to see more students get involved with clubs they are passionate about and show it off,” she said.

Messaros believes if more males did get involved and find that they enjoy what they are doing, more would sign-up for clubs.

Many athletics teams are required to do service. Each October, the men’s lacrosse team helps set up and prepare for the Dallas Harvest Festival and break it down at the end of the event.

On first year move in day every August, the football team helps orientation leaders carry residents’ belongings to the third and fourth floors of the dorms. This lessens much of the heavy work- load for first year students and their parents.

Administrators notice and appreciate the work, but Messaros said she wishes more athletes would get involved when their chosen sports are not in season. She said few do, and they have some time for extracurricular activities, but she does not see the students participate as much as she would like.

Men in leadership positions can be role models and set an example for all students, she said.

“Maybe because the first years don’t see the upperclassmen males in key roles, so they feel they would not enjoy it,” said Messaros. “Nobody knows for sure until they give it a try, and I just hope people challenge themselves to try new things. We could always hope for a 50/50 ratio, but for now, we work on it.”

Peer Advocates, a club designed to help first year students get adjusted through FYE class, only has three male members. There is a list of all students on the board outside of the SGA office, and for the last two years, there has only been one male member.

“The males who get involved are very dedicated,” said Brodmerkel

“We just have to continue to do new things in recruiting and hope for the best. We can’t and won’t ever force anybody into anything here.”

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