Apply to become a Laker Leader: help freshmen transition to campus

Alexis Lovewell, Staff writer

As we are now a little more than a month into the 2021 spring semester, Mercyhurst is already getting prepared for the 2021-2022 academic year. One thing that the school is looking to get a jump on is finding new Laker Leaders.

The job of a Laker Leader is to welcome in the new incoming freshman class and help them become acquainted with life on campus. Laker Leaders play a crucial role at Mercyhurst in providing student advice on how to navigate your first year in college.

Laker Leaders assist with summer orientations, Welcome Week activities and also help facilitate iMU courses during the fall and spring semesters of that academic year.

Laker Leader and senior Caroline Schroer, explained that their main goal is to help guide new students on campus through the transition process. “Since most Laker Leaders have already had a minimum of one year of experience on campus, they know all the tiny tricks and hints that make college life a little easier and less stressful,” Schroer said.

Some benefits of becoming a Laker Leader are strengthening your leadership skills, meeting new people and getting a small stipend each semester to help pay for your college expenses.

“The benefits of being a Laker Leader include growing your leadership skills by gaining firsthand experience leading college students,” said Laker Leader and senior Elizabeth Becker. “You get the opportunity to meet the new freshman and help them along the way, as well as making lasting friendships with fellow Laker Leaders. It is so rewarding to watch the freshman you get to meet grow and stay in touch with them over your years at Mercyhurst.”

Schroer has similar beliefs as Becker and thinks being a Laker Leader is a lot of fun that allows you to connect with lots of great people.

“Personally, I enjoy helping people out by answering questions and sharing my experiences. It also provides great leadership experience, which is always good to have in a practical sense, as well as on a resume,” Schroer said.

In order to become a Laker Leader, you must be a full-time traditional student and have a GPA of at least 2.75. You must also be in good standing with the student conduct code and have a passion for leading others.

A general knowledge of Mercyhurst is also a good thing when applying so you can help students with almost anything.

Once you apply to become a Laker Leader, your application will be reviewed and you may be selected to go through the interview process. Usually this is done in a group setting in order to see your leadership skills in action.

This year, due to COVID, it will be done via FlipGrid. Although COVID-19 has put a damper on many things on campus this past year, Laker Leaders were still able to connect with the students. Becker explained that this semester iMU has been taught completely remotely, and during the summer training was mostly remote also.

Laker Leaders were still able to meet their fellow Laker Leaders and lead freshman in pods during the beginning of the semester.

Schroer believes the biggest challenge due to COVID this year was Welcome Week and the Day of Service since the new students were not able to interact with the other students in their pod before classes began.

“I think our role as Laker Leaders was particularly important this year, just because COVID policies and concerns can cause a lot of stress and confusion, so it helps to have students like us in a position to answer specific questions,” Schroer said.

Despite the challenges COVID brought, both Schroer and Becker say that being a Laker Leader is truly rewarding and a lot of fun.

Though the job can be tough during the pandemic, finding something that you are passionate about and enjoy doing can make it a lot more fun. If you are interested in applying to become a Laker Leader, the applications are available now on the Student HUB.

All you need to do is fill out that application and get two Mercyhurst references, like professors, club advisors, coaches or other staff at Mercyhurst who will recommend you for the role.