Students of California Baptist University arrived back on campus in late August tired, weary and divided after a five-month summer of near total defeat. The hope of all of us was to return to our campus haven with in-person classes and all the events that we could imagine, but the pandemic was relentless in its taking.
Those of us who did make the return journey, though, came back estranged to both the campus and each other, not knowing where to start rebuilding our community. One last element of our campus culture still remained: the strong right arm of the campus community itself, CBU Student Leadership.
When the return to campus was being planned, Student Leadership was a large factor. The return of students—even if it was just over half the population—meant that many offices, such as Residence Life, First Year Experience and the International Center would have to be operational.
Freshmen arriving on campus this semester were met with open arms by their resident advisers and FYE leaders, who welcomed them into the Lancer Nation. International students who braved the odds of living on campus during a pandemic were immediately met with aid from the International Center. The power of CBU Student Leadership doesn’t come from their manpower or their budget, but from the unrelenting servant-love of Christ, as they push themselves aside and rush to the aid of their fellow Lancers in need.
While the return of Student Leadership was an overall success, it was not without its losses. Across the globe, the pandemic forced businesses and offices to close down with the exception of those deemed essential. This action was not any different at CBU, as it forced the school to release all student leaders whose office did not have a domain related to immediate residential assistance.
For example, the Community Life office, whose domain was the planning of events, had no choice but to release their student leaders.
In addition to this, the CBU student government, popularly known as ASCBU (Associated Students of California Baptist University) made arguably the largest sacrifice out of all the offices, closing its doors entirely for the duration of the fall semester.
A student leader lives in a mindset of putting the priorities of others before their own. Whether that comes through a resident needing assistance with homework, an international student needing help connecting with others, or a freshman having problems adjusting to college life, it is the student leader’s duty and privilege to lend an outstretched hand in the same way that it was once lent to them.
Student Leaders are the glue that keeps the campus culture together. They are the captains of our teams, and by following their lead, we will find victory in the return of better days.