K’s mission is to “prepare our graduates to better understand, live successfully within, and provide enlightened leadership to a richly diverse and increasingly complex world.” Enlightened leadership is not developed overnight, it is something our students strengthen throughout their four years on campus as they take on responsibilities and roles to enhance life at K.
While leadership manifests in multiple ways, below is a sampling of the type of leadership opportunities available on campus.
Kalamazoo College Council of Student Representatives (KCCSR)
Elected by the student body, KCCSR gives students a voice in College decision-making. The role of KCCSR is to create spaces for student perspectives within institutional structures and to advocate for student rights on campus. In addition to weekly meetings open to all students, KCCSR members:
- Share student perspectives at various faculty, trustee, and college committee meetings.
- Meet regularly with the president and their staff to share student concerns and advocate for solutions.
- Spearhead campus-wide initiates and improvement projects.
Kalamazoo College is a close-knit community, and because of our intimate setting, students truly get to know and care for each other. Students have much to learn from one another and the College is fortunate to have many dedicated leaders on campus who are willing to help each other from orientation through life post-graduation.
Adjusting to College
Acclimating to campus living and being a college student can be intimidating for some first-years, but older K students are there to help ease the transition.
During orientation, every first-year seminar class is paired with peer leaders who help students navigate K, learn about resources on campus, and offer mentorship from their own experiences. Peer leaders stay with their class all year, planning bonding activities and answering questions as they come up.
Even before the term begins, incoming students have the opportunity to participate in LandSea, an outdoor adventure program meant to connect fellow first-years. The whole program is led by LandSea Leaders who guide their peers as they explore the wilderness and build their awareness, self-esteem, confidence and self-reliance.
Finding Your Place on Campus
Once on campus, students will have strong peer support networks they can tap into to help them find their place academically and socially.
Picking a major and determining what classes to take each term can be stressful, especially if you are unsure of what you want to pursue after graduation. Department Student Advisors are available to help students learn the ins and outs of their department: major and minor requirements, guidance on what classes to take, and tips for how to best connect with professors. Meet the current Department Student Advisors.
Outside of the classroom, students living within the dorms benefit from the guidance of Resident Assistants, and all students can find their social circle with the help of student organization leaders. Resident Assistants facilitate the social development of their peers by assisting their residents in setting roommate ground rules, resolving potential conflicts, and hosting events for residents—as well as being trained to respond to any emergencies that may arise. Student organization leaders of over 80 groups are responsible for the operations of their club, including leading their peers, planning for events, and managing the finances. Any student—so long as you have peers who want to join—is welcome to start their own student organization, even as a first-year!
Maintaining K Connections Post-Graduation
Your life with K extends far past the four years you spend on campus, thanks to the strong alumni communities made possible by Senior Class Agents. These students lead their class, starting senior year, in preparing for post-graduate life with K: organizing reunions, promoting philanthropic opportunities and finding ways to stay connected with one another and the College.
Representing the College in the Community
President Student Ambassadors
Serving as an extension of the president’s hospitality, President Student Ambassadors represent the College at formal events for community leaders, alumni and donors. Welcoming guests—both on- and off-campus—these students are the face of the College and are invited to share their K stories, network and be gracious hosts.
Arcus Social Justice Leadership Associates
Student Social Justice Associates are deeply involved in the work of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. They get to flex their creativity, accountability, and leadership skills as they plan, create and implement the center’s activism and general programming. Students are empowered to work on issues they are passionate about as they push for change on campus and in the broader Kalamazoo community.
Civic Engagement Scholars
The Center for Civic Engagement’s community outreach programs are completely student-organized by Civic Engagement Scholars. These students partner with local organizations and municipal agencies to collaborate on community projects, such as children’s development, community organizing, social justice and government programming. With over 200 K students participating in these groups, Civic Engagement Scholars get a breadth of experience planning for meetings, outreach events, and structured reflections.