A Pilot Assessment of Student Leader Involvement in Campus Organizations: Be True to Your School?

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Joseph R. Ferrari, Ph.D.
Shaun E. Cowman, Ph.D.
Lauren A. Milner, M.S.


Students who self-identifi ed as activity leaders of one (n = 30), two or more (n = 21), or no campus extracurricular clubs (n = 34), completed measures on the institution’s mission and values as well as its school sense of community (SSOC). Analyses indicated a main effect for race on SSOC and a subscale emphasis on diversity, such that Caucasian students reported a higher sense of community while students of color felt the need for stronger emphasis on diversity across campus. An additional main effect for activity type and SSOC was also evident, since students with leadership roles in two or more clubs reported a stronger sense of community than regular club members or students active in only one club. Results highlight how participation in co-curricular activities by students of color may potentially inhibit or enhance a sense of community on campus and indicate how much emphasis the university places on honoring diversity at all levels of the college.

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Author Biographies

Joseph R. Ferrari, Ph.D., DePaul University

Joseph Ferrari is Professor of Psychology and Vincent de Paul Distinguished Professor, DePaul University, Chicago, IL.

Shaun E. Cowman, Ph.D., Loras College

Shaun Cowman is Director of Institutional Research, Loras College, Dubuque, IA.

Lauren A. Milner, M.S., University of Arkansas

Lauren Milner is a graduate student in Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR.