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When Ginny Martin was a freshman at Maranatha, she decided to run for student society president.
“I thought it’d be a fun thing to do,” Martin said. “When I was (elected), I saw that there was more to it than the fun society meetings. There’s more planning involved in it.”
Martin, now a junior, juggles her student leadership office along with a Science Education major, playing for the women’s soccer team, and being a Residence Assistant in Melford Hall. Despite her schedule, she still enjoys her role as Pumas Society president.
“I love meeting people and planning fun things like stag/dating outings and Christmas caroling,” Martin said.
Martin is not alone in taking on a campus leadership role, not by far. In fact, there are 307 leadership positions Maranatha students can be a part of during the 2012-13 academic year, ranging from student body offices to the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and even room leaders.
Dean of Students Dr. John Davis says the focus of student leadership is to develop discipleship and character building, noting, “The message of salvation is enhanced by the credibility of our character.”
Davis also said Maranatha encourages student leadership because the world needs Christian leadership.
The campus is unified in developing leaders; we just do it from different perspectives,” Davis said “The classrooms and chapels provide the academic and spiritual training, while the leadership training comes from student-led societies, classes, student body, (etc.).”
Campus positions are not the only vehicles for student leadership. Maranatha has, since its founding in 1968, encouraged its students to become involved in local church ministries and job opportunities.
“What’s unique about Maranatha is that it’s large enough to offer leadership, but small enough to let everyone be leaders,” Davis said.
Martin agreed when asked about the importance of student leadership.
“Leadership isn’t always easy,” Martin said, “but it’s a great way for students to learn personal responsibility and practical life skills.”