Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis served as the keynote speaker at the Ohio Student Government Association (OSGA) conference held this weekend at Baker University Center.
He spoke to a crowd of about 50 people that included student government leaders from Ohio’s state-supported universities. State Sen. Jimmy Stewart and State Rep. Debbie Phillips were among the participants in the two-day conference.
McDavis’ keynote address focused on the importance of developing leadership skills. McDavis told the students that to be a successful leader, it takes hard work, thick skin to handle criticism, and being a good listener.
“In order to move initiatives forward on your campuses and advocate for students, you need team work, an established set of goals, a united front, the courage to face difficult issues and the confidence to fight for what you believe in,” McDavis said.
McDavis said relationships are the key element to getting things done.
“To truly get something accomplished on a campus, it takes teamwork,” he said.
McDavis stressed that being a leader requires a strong personal initiative and a strong desire to make a difference.
“You have been entrusted by your student body to lead and advocate for them,” he said.
Ohio University Student Senate President Robert Leary said that, although the conference also focused its discussions on other important topics such as sustainability and budgets, the most important issue this year was student trustee voting rights.
“Everyone thinks it (voting rights for student trustees) is a great idea,” Leary said. “We’re all saying the same thing. With a uniform plan, we should have a greater chance of it passing through the general assembly.”
The OSGA, comprised of student body government members at the state’s 13 four-year universities, advocates for a better student experience at Ohio universities.
Ohio University hosted the third-annual 2009 OSGA conference after it received the most votes out of the three universities who submitted a bid to be the host school.