Leadership students use blog to showcase issues

Drunk driving prevention programs aimed at high school students have a disconnect between adult perceptions of the problem and the real-life situations teens today face, according to one student.

Emily Taylor, a senior accounting major and Chancellor’s Leadership Program member, is attempting to end the rift in these perceptions caused by the generation gap with the help of a blog, which is a new requirement for CLP students this semester.

The implementation of blogs is one of several changes in the CLP this semester. The program also extended membership to sophomores and added a senior trip to Argentina in October, said Cynthia Walsh, assistant dean and director of student development.

Jason Eagar, associate director of the TCU Leadership Center, said the CLP is a four-year program that aims to help students develop their own leadership styles and learn the impact it can have on the community and world around them.

Walsh said these objectives are achieved through requirements that must be met during the program. Some of the requirements include volunteer work and attending workshops and fine arts events, according to the CLP Web site.

The Legacy Project, which is due at the end of CLP students’ senior year, encourages them to use what they have learned by meeting the program’s requirements and apply it to a topic they are passionate about, according to the CLP Web site. Taylor picked her topic because drunk driving was a prominent problem at her high school and she wanted to add to a program that was already in motion at the school, she said.

The addition of blogs to the program allows student to show off how they meet their requirements in a creative way, Taylor said.

Last year, reflections on requirements were submitted as documents to advisers on eCollege. The blogs allow students to design their Web sites and add items, such as photos and articles.

Senior Dani Hauf, a member of the CLP Steering Committee – which works with the Leadership Center on issues related to the CLP – said the blogs are accessible to all students whereas the eCollege posts were only visible to CLP advisers.

The program, which had been open to freshmen in the past, is accepting sophomore applicants this year as well, Walsh said.

Hauf said applications were open to sophomores this year as a result of feedback the Steering Committee received at the beginning of the semester. The committee wanted to give transfer students and those who were not accepted or did not apply during their freshman year a chance to join the program, she said.

Walsh said sophomores who are accepted into the program will have the same requirements as four-year members and will have to do some extra work when they join to catch up with the progress of the rest of the group.

Another addition to the CLP this year was an international trip for seniors, Walsh said.

In the past, seniors have gone on a capstone trip that was to serve as a time to reflect on their growth at TCU and their Legacy Project, Walsh said. October was the first time the trip was abroad in Argentina.

“We’ve always wanted them to have a senior capstone experience so they can reflect on their four years and reflect on their Legacy Project and how they’ve made a difference and how they’ve connected to the community,” Walsh said. “This year we were able to do it as a CLP cohort internationally.”

Hauf, who went on the trip, said that having this experience abroad gave students in the program a direct link back to the TCU mission statement: “To educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.”

Students who apply are invited to attend an informational meeting on Monday or Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the Miller conference room on the third floor of the Brown-Lupton University Union. Eagar said the meetings are an opportunity for CLP advisers to meet applicants and for students to get an idea of what the program is about.

“We want to make sure that it’s a great fit for them, but also for us,” he said.

CLP applications are available online at www.clp.tcu.edu and must be turned in by midnight today, Eagar said.