Admin. unveils new scholarship program

By Jewel Della Valle

A scholarship program that would recognize 30 to 40 student leaders on campus is set to be rolled out this month.

The Northeastern University Leadership Scholars Program will use the funds previously used for full-tuition scholarships for the six members of the Student Government Association (SGA) executive board and the editor in chief of The Northeastern News.

The new program, headed by Ed Klotzbier, vice president for student affairs, and John Silveria, director of student leadership and engagement, would award a $5,000 tuition waiver per semester to accepted participants beginning in the 2006-07 academic year, with applications due April 15.

The initial idea for the program, drafted by SGA President Ashley Adams and Executive Vice President for Student Affairs John Guilfoil, would have awarded 20 student leaders full-tuition scholarships. Klotzbier and Silveria used their draft as the framework for the program, Adams said.

“We were always in favor of the leadership scholars program, we’re not in favor of how it sort of crippled SGA,” Adams said. “The place that we’re at right now is a compromise.”

Klotzbier said Northeastern began offering student leaders scholarships in 1989, but the time has come to make the program diverse and recognize more student leaders.

“This is a program that began back in 1989 where the six members of the Student Government Association were given free tuition,” Klotzbier said. “What we’ve done is, working with financial services, we’re re-purposing that tuition program to basically get more aid to student leaders. Back in 1989 there was no LASO, no RSA, no CUP, no Northeastern University Bisexual, Lesbian and Gay Association and we’re a much different place today.”

The eligibility criteria and application guidelines are detailed in a proposal Klotzbier and Silveria wrote for the program.

Klotzbier and Silveria said the program will help recognize more than just seven students for their work and dedication to student leadership.

“I think it’s going to have a great impact on student leadership on campus,” Klotzbier said. “I think more and more student leaders are going to be recognized for the work that they do. If the program is run properly, it’ll be a real added value to the experience student leaders have while participating in leadership roles at the university.”

Accepted applicants will also be required to attend a weekly non-credit seminar and reflection program that includes discussions, guest speakers and site visits with people in leadership roles.

Most of the scholarships will go to leaders elected for one-semester terms, but a portion will go to students elected to full-year terms. Students must be taking classes on campus to be eligible.

Sergio Marrero, president of LASO, said the program is a good idea and “a step in the right direction.”

“It allows the opportunity for many people to be recognized,” Marrero said. “I think it will also bring to light the variety that exists on campus and how we’re all working to make a difference.”

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