By Matt Kyle | Staff Writer
New Student Programs (NSP) is currently recruiting students to be Welcome Week leaders for this upcoming fall.
Daniel Haddad, assistant director of leadership and curriculum with NSP, said student leaders play a pivotal role in welcoming students home to Baylor by helping orient new students to campus and get them excited for their journey at Baylor.
Haddad said being a Welcome Week leader is a way for students to give back to the Baylor community.
“It takes a student who loves Baylor, who wants to give back,” Haddad said. “For our current students, their Baylor story is still being written. This is a way for them to continue their story while helping new students start their story.”
Haddad said NSP has seen a decline in the number of Welcome Week leaders in the last several years.
“We are really working hard to bring those numbers back up so that the incoming students are actually in a small group,” Haddad said. “If we have less leaders, then the group size is bigger. And that doesn’t help the incoming students have the best experience as they begin their journey at Baylor.”
Pampa junior Jana Shults said she was “welcomed with open arms” by her Welcome Week leader and wanted to become a student leader to pass that feeling along to the next generation of students.
“It’s a sweet opportunity to give back to the new students,” Shults said. “One of my favorite things is that the new class, for some of them, this is their first time on campus. So we’re just really helping them get acquainted with campus and ease some of the tension coming to college for the first time.”
The Woodlands sophomore Nick Madincea said a desire to serve others and be the first friend students have at Baylor led him to become a Welcome Week leader last fall.
“I’ve always really felt called to care for people and lead them, to be able to show them what Baylor is and be their first touchpoint,” Madincea said. “It was really quite an honor. I had some amazing students.”
Madincea said leaders must exemplify the values of Baylor, including the university’s Christian mission statement, and care about both the people the job serves and the job itself.
“This is a volunteer job,” Madincea said. “And yes, it does take time, and it takes energy. It takes work. But as long as you care, you’ll do great. And as long as you care, your students will know that, and they’re going to show up, and they’re going to have fun, and they’re going to have a good experience. That’s the image of Baylor that they’re starting off with.”
Madincea said Baylor is a special place because of the focus placed on building relationships among students.
“Baylor is more than an institution,” Madincea said. “It’s the idea that we can be a family. I try to exhibit that in everything that I do, and I try to instill that in my students. You’re not just a number. Here at Baylor, you are so much more than just a student. You really are a family member.”