Students – we run the world

Student leaders

CSU’s first Student Leadership Conference is taking place at CSU Wagga Wagga on 5 – 6 November 2015, bringing together student leaders from across the university to network, celebrate the student voice and boost the student capacity to lead.

We caught up with Rowan Alden, Elected Student Member of the University Council, to find out about her leadership experience and why the conference is such an important step in raising the profile of student leadership at CSU.

Being the Elected Student Member of the University Council is a big deal. Rowan was elected by the student body to provide input to the strategic direction of the university; an important role and one that Rowan takes in her stride.

On student leadership, Rowan is passionate about ensuring students have a voice at the highest level; “student leadership and student input into decision making within any university is really important. Students are the major stakeholder group as most decisions affect student learning, experience or outcomes,” says Rowan.

“Students also have a view of the university that is different to the perspective of staff and provide a unique contribution in this way.”

Rowan’s current position on the University Council puts her in an ideal position to contribute to the future of student leadership at CSU, hence the idea of establishing the Student Leadership Conference.

“Leadership skills are important for professional development and making the most of an opportunity such as the Student Leadership Conference to develop these skills whilst at university is hugely beneficial,” Rowan explains.

The Student Leadership Conference will be attended by students who have a position on any of the Student Representative Councils (SRCs) or School or Faculty Boards. It is hoped the conference will be extended to other student leaders across the university in future years.

The conference aims to enable networking and sharing of ideas between student leaders, build a culture which celebrates the importance of the student voice and increase the skills of student leaders to boost their capacity to lead.

Looking to the future, we asked Rowan what needs to be done to promote student leadership at CSU and encourage more students to take on leadership roles.

“It’s all about raising the profile of student leadership and promoting the importance of the student voice. Everyone benefits with increased student participation in leadership roles and we need all students and staff to know about it,” Rowan says.

“Events like the Student Leadership Conference are a great first step to achieving this and I hope that in the future, participating in the expression of our student voice is a key part of the Charles Sturt University student experience.”