Explore Your Leadership Potential While Having Fun and Helping People

March 10, 2016
David McFarland
Develop your leadership and team building skills at Clarion.

College is about learning, both within and outside of the classroom. The Center for Leadership & Involvement is a great place for you to find out-of-classroom opportunities to lead, serve and connect.

The staff and students within the Center oversee the areas of community service, leadership, involvement, Greek life, parent and family services, Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs), Student Senate, University Activities Board (UAB), and Student Orientation Acclimation & Retention (SOAR).

The Center's staff and student leaders oversee over 135 clubs and groups including the Advisory Board for Leadership & Engagement (ABLE), community service groups, Greek life, the University Activities Board (UAB--proud sponsors of the EFSN: Every Friday and Saturday Night program), and the Student Senate.

RSOs are organized into 13 categories: academic-related, club sports, fraternities, honoraries, media, multicultural, performance, political, Residence Hall Council, service, sororities, special interest and spiritual.

“We encourage students to utilize their CU Connect accounts so they can access all of the campus groups,” says Shawn Hoke, director of the Center for Leadership & Involvement. 

He adds, “CU Connect is a great place to learn everything there is to know about the different RSOs and to get details about upcoming events.  CU Connect also serves as the activity feed for the Corq App (available for free download in Google Play and in the Apple App Store), so students can literally stay connected anywhere."

Everyone is invited to visit the Center for Leadership and Involvement in the Gemmell Student Complex and meet the staff: Shawn Hoke, director; Kelly Ryan, assistant director; Brian Hoover, assistant director; Shelly Wilson, Student Association manager; Erin Schuetz, director for SOAR (located in Becht Hall); and Karena Stephens, staff, if you have any questions about what's out there - or simply visit CU Connect!


SOAR’s goal is to help all Clarion students get the most you can from your years at Clarion University.  Ensuring students stay in college and developing permanent ties to Clarion University through programs and activities are important ways that SOAR helps students remain connected and committed to Clarion University.

 SOAR Mentors are students who work with Orientation, Discovery Weekend and most importantly with first year students as they journey through their first year of college at Clarion.

Clarion's program is based on best practices in first year and transfer student experiences, university-wide discussions, continuous program assessment, and involves the efforts of the entire university community. 

SOAR helps students develop positive and ongoing relationships among other students, as well as with faculty and staff, and encourages becoming an informed self-advocate who accepts personal responsibility for your education.

Presentations and other components of the program continuously evolve as a dedicated group of faculty, staff and students meet regularly to provide information and programs that help students to be as successful as possible at Clarion. 

SOAR offices are located in 406 Becht.  For more information, contact Erin Schuetz, director, at eschuetz@clarion.edu or orientation@clarion.edu or call ext. 1766 or 1769.


Student Senate sets the rules and policies about recognizing student groups and gives the students a voice in institutional government at Clarion University.

Student Senate's vision is to work together with Clarion’s student body and local communities to develop an effective higher education learning environment for all students.

“The aim of Student Senate remains as it always has been, to be a recognizable voice at Clarion, and to ensure that with every decision made, the interests of all students remain first and foremost,” explains current Student Senate president, Jarrett Coleman Boxley.  

There are 22 total members of Student Senate, including the president & the executive board, with two seats reserved for freshman.  This year’s officers are Jarrett Coleman Boxley, president; Marissa Kealey, vice-president; Dylan Rea, treasurer; and Taylor Claypool, vice-president of Rules and Regulations.

Eight standing committees, including Academic Affairs (who work with the Provost), Health, Safety and Environmental Concerns, Student Relations (programming), and Housing and Dining Services are available to members.

Two events are held every semester, the Reinhart Awards (spring), and the Social Equity Banquet (fall) to celebrate the efforts of the students.

If you are interested in becoming a Senator, applications are made available in CU Connect toward the end of the spring semester or as seats needs to be filled. The application consists of basic contact information, a picture of the applicant, and the applicant's platform.

Elections are held at the end of the spring semester via CU Connect, with members being elected for a term of one year.  Student Senate members then elect officers for the upcoming year.

The Student Senate office is located in 268 Gemmell.  Student Senate meets Mondays at 7:30 p.m. in 246 Gemmell and is open to all students, faculty, and staff interested in having a voice in your school.


Every Clarion University student who pays a Student Activity Fee is a member of the Clarion Students' Association (CSA).  As authorized by Act 188 of 1982, CSA sets the Student Activity Fee and is responsible for the collection, retention, and expenditure thereof, in cooperation with the president of Clarion University.

In addition to the funding it provides to Recognized University Organizations (RUOs) and RSOs, CSA provides funding to the Clarion Area Transit Authority which allows students to enjoy free local bus transportation; provides movie programming and management services to the University Theater - Suites on Main North; manages the contract with the Follett Corporation for the operation of the Clarion University Store; and coordinates the break bus program that provides break bus transportation between Clarion and Philadelphia.

The CSA office is located in 278 Gemmell, and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.


Clarion University participates in data collection for the President’s Higher Education Honor Roll for Community Service.  Clarion University is proud of its achievement of reaching Honor Roll status in 2014 with over 400,000 hours of service donated. – 2015 numbers are being collected and recorded now, and hopefully we’ll keep our HR status.

There are many activities at Clarion that both develop your leadership potential as well as benefit the community.  The Advisory Board for Leadership and Engagement (ABLE) is the parent group that oversees the activities of all other leadership and service groups. 

Any student can participate in ABLE.  Meetings are held on alternate Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. in 248 Gemmell.  Officers must have a 2.4 GPA, and are elected by the other members of ABLE.

Many leadership-building activities are available throughout the year including the Student Leader Empowerment Program (SLEP) that is currently in progress; the Mary Walter Lecture Series and Service Summit held every spring; the National Collegiate Leadership Conference held in Arizona every February; Freshman Leadership Challenge and the Leadership in Action Conference held in the fall.

These programs are all designed to awaken in students, especially freshmen, the many benefits of leading a service-driven life, not only while attending college, but beyond.

There are many ways to help in your community.  If you enjoy working outdoors, then the Shovel Brigade, Keep Clarion Clean, and the Spring Community Service Day might be for you.

If you are interested in feeding the hungry, then Together we CAN Fight Hunger and Foodstock/Stuff the Truck held during Autumn Leaf Festival are wonderful ways to help out.

A special event is held every fall to memorialize the victims of 9 - 11.  Held in September, a group meets at the Hart Chapel and processes through Clarion in remembrance of those killed in the 2001 tragedies in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, PA.  The event is a cooperative effort of the Sigma Epsilon sorority, the NAACP and the local chapter of the VFW.

The service year at Clarion is capped off with Come Together Clarion.  This year’s event is being held on Saturday, April 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on 6th Avenue in Clarion between Main and Wood streets.  Activities also spill onto the Farmer’s National Bank and the First United Methodist church parking lots in that area.

The day begins with a 5K race/walk, with entry fees helping to fund the event.  All activities from that point on are free to the community.  Everything from inflatables and face painting for the kids, to performances by area musicians, chorale groups and others, to the final day of the food drive are part of this fun filled day.

Come Together Clarion is also a collection point for donating excess items like books, children’s clothing, and home items.  All items are sorted and distributed to the Clarion Library and area charities.

Winners of the ‘Nominate a Neighborhood Star’ awards are announced during the festivities. Nominations can be made online, and a committee of students choose the winners in several categories.

Those attending will also have an opportunity to decorate ‘squares’ of the Community Quilt that is put together every year.  Kelly Ryan, assistant director, and a group of students take the quilt on a road show to area groups and clubs (i.e. Kiwanis, etc.) to explain the project and garner support.

Many student and staff volunteers are needed to make this event a success, so join us for a day of fun and community service!


There are several men’s and women’s Greek organizations represented at Clarion.  In addition to hosting many social events, these groups are very involved in philanthropy and community service. 

Each has its own specific group or groups that they support globally and locally, including the Cancer Center at the Clarion Hospital, giving thousands of hours of service and raising thousands of dollars.  So far this year, Greek organizations have reported 2,292.5 hours of service, raising $6,510.59 for their chapter philanthropies.

Hundreds of students on our campus participate in Greek letter organizations, having great leadership and social opportunities presented to them through their chapters both locally and nationally.  Many students participate in leadership conventions, build their leadership skills in their daily practice here on campus, and mentor newer members to be leaders as they come into the Greek community.

Greek life also offers students the chance to build relationships across chapters, with community activities such as Greek Games, where students gather for friendly competition, winning trophies and raising money for a good cause all at the same time.  This year's beneficiary of their generosity will be the Clarion Cancer Center. 

The public is welcome to join the Greeks for any of the games, and no one should miss out on Greek Sing coming up on April 10 in Tippin Gymnasium.

 If you think Greek life is for you, visit CU Connect to find out more about what they have to offer.


David McFarland
Some events even help you to discover your more colorful side!

 The University Activities Board (UAB) is made up of a group of students, and led by a university-appointed adviser, Brian Hoover, who together work diligently to make the Clarion experience one that meets the diverse needs and interests of our student body by providing a variety of programs and events.

Several evenings throughout the week you can find an activity going on around campus.  From Yard Olympics, Eagle Talks and Dancing through the Decades on Wednesday nights to crafts, bingo, lectures, and open mic nights on Thursdays to the ever popular EFSN (Every Friday and Saturday Night) programs, there is something to fill your evenings (when not studying).

EFSN features performances by multicultural musical and dance groups, comedians and poets, as well as more interactive events such as ice skating, archery tag, blitzball, and tactical lazer tag.  The fun continues with movies every weekend at 10 p.m. at the University Theater in Suites on Main North.

Every spring, UAB also hosts either a popular musical or comedy act at CampusFest.  Past performers included Wiz Khalifa, Ke$ha, Mac Miller, Cassadee Pope, Echosmith, and The Band Perry.  This year’s performer will be announced in late March.

UAB meets every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in 246 Gemmell, and any student interested in meeting new people and making big things happen at Clarion is welcome.

“Being involved in college organizations should be more than just a bullet point on your resume, so we recommend that you become truly involved,” says Shawn Hoke, director of the Center for Leadership and Involvement. 

He adds, “Joining a club or leadership organization at Clarion is a great way to get real-world experience, and develop skills that you can use throughout your life.” 

There is so much out there to see and do at Clarion, join us for some great experiences – you’ll be glad you did!

Last Updated 9/2/16